Kari Wells
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About Kari Wells

 

My Story by Kari Wells

Kari’s Tea Party

Join Married to Medicine’s Kari Wells as she enjoys tea at a hundred year old tea house.

March 27, 2013

What is the five-year plan?

Kari says:

“It’s like unraveling a tapestry: you look at the issues that you need to overcome and you just pull one small string at a time until you have unwrapped the whole thing.  You can’t get overwhelmed with the enormity of the task. You start with the easiest, smallest task first—the little string—and the rest of the tapestry will follow. For us at first it was about addressing the huge debt. But by using this approach of initial baby steps, we overcame $1 million-plus in debt. There were huge sacrifices initially: we only had one phone line; we downgraded our cell phone plans; we lived completely within our means. Basically, we took a hard look at everything we were spending. We gave up the things we did not need and downsized.”

The Five Year PlanThanks to that discipline, the Wells family reached their financial goals in three years—instead of the five they thought it would take.

“Another way of looking at it is,” Kari says, “Say you’re in a sinking ship: you need to plug up all the holes, but you can stop the sinking by plugging a lot of the small holes first, and then, once stabilized, plug the larger ones. On the other hand, if the ship is sinking fast, you have to bite the bullet and plug the largest holes. Personally, I have always addressed the largest financial burdens first and then gradually addressed the smaller ones.  Her advice in business is to work on the accounts that are most costly and worked your way down. I did all the re-negotiating with the vendors and suppliers. I put in central purchasing system in the business so all purchases had to be pre-approved.

“I looked at what was  costing the practice the most,” she continues, “and  re-negotiated those accounts. I then worked my way down the totem pole, all the way down to stationery. I renegotiated salaries and overtime. I interviewed staff to see if someone they could go part-time. I put in a time clock with a fingerprint system to make sure people were at work when they said they were.”

“I got everybody on board,” Kari says. “We had a bonuses for cost-saving ideas. I put people on commission based on the well-being of the practice so they could earn a percentage of the profit; senior employees had a vested interest.”

Working OutOn a personal level Kari says: “I believe in paying off car loans, consolidating debt with a lowering interest rates, even downsizing  your home, if need be. My husband had a huge home when we met, so we sold it and we moved into a much smaller, but elegant, town house.”

Eventually, when the money was coming in and there was no more debt, Kari and Dr. Wells decided to build their dream house. They found a beautiful piece of land in a tree-filled neighborhood in the heart of Buckhead.

“It was a beautiful lot in a forest.  I sold my home in Aspen at the peak of the market to help pay for it.”

“Sure,” Kari says. “Turning your life around financially is a huge challenge, but owning your cars and homes and not being a slave to money is priceless. Remember to begin by putting one foot after another. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at where you’ll end up.”

March 23, 2013

What is The Business of Living for Women?

Kari and DuncanAccording to Kari Wells:

“The Business  of Living for Women” is about taking control of your life. It is about being in charge of your financial destiny.  It is about starting from where you are, today, and putting one foot in foot of the other and developing the assets that you now have. It is different for every woman, but it covers all women, no matter where you live or who you are.

“A lot of women can be very financially helpful to their husbands, even if he is the principal bread winner,” she says. “But be careful, because it is a fine line: Not enough involvement and nothing changes. Too much and he might feel emasculated. You have to come to an agreement as a couple. You need to figure out how much money you’ve got and you need to plan accordingly. For example, if you want to go out on Friday night, you may have to cut back somewhere else. We always kept our date night, even when our finances were limited, even if it was just a movie and a time to talk away from the kids. Time with your husband is vital. That is one area we would not make sacrifices as it is important to our marriage.”

March 22, 2013

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