1. Trade in your car for a bicycle and cash
I have seen people here in Bolivia carting 100 pound sacks of potatoes looped over the top bar of their bicycle, not to mention entire families. No more car insurance bills. No more buying gas. No more repair bills. You get lots of exercise which lowers cholesteral and blood pressure. Improves your health! Lower health care expenses. Save money and energy the Andean Way! (Remind me to tell you, in a future Blogcritics article, my story of joyfully giving away my car and feeling free at last.)
Photo: Migdalia and Grandma Muñoz, Loma Panda, Nicaragua. Digital illustration by Lynette Yetter
2. Sell your TV
Get instant cash and save money by not paying for cable, or for the electricity to power a TV, or fixing it, or replacing it. And without advertising propaganda infiltrating your brain, you will bit by bit be freer of the addiction to buy and consume more than you need. And you know what? When I lived in the countryside with a family who had never had TV, the children never whined. Never. Not even on a two day road trip in a sweaty crowded public bus with choking dust blowing in the gaps in the windows and doors. They hadn't been taught by TV to become slaves to their desires. What a bonus! You have more peace and quiet in the house as you save money the (sort of) Andean way!
3. Sell your DVD player
Instant cash! Watch DVDs on your computer. (If you are reading this article, you have access to a computer). You will not need to pay money to maintain or replace a separate device or devices to watch movies. Consolidate.
4. Let your hair grow
No more money spent on haircuts. Be in solidarity with indigenous people. I haven't cut my hair in almost 30 years. One less thing to stress about.
5. Let your hair be the way it wants to be
No more money spent of hair dye, perms, streaks, gels, hairspray, etc.
6. Style your hair the indigenous way
Indigenous women in Peru and Bolivia braid in two braids. The ends are fastened by braiding a string in, then tying the string at the end. No more money spent on hair ties, clips, bands, etc. Amazingly enough, when you braid your hair this way, the ends do not split. No need for trims. Some men tie their tresses in a ponytail with a string.
7. Sell Your Electric Coffee Grinder at a Garage Sale