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The Money Diaries: Confessions of a Shop-aholic

Under CC license from Flickr user 401(K)

The Money Diaries is a series in which young people from Oakland explore their relationships with money. Zakiya Jackson is calling her story “Confessions of a Shop-aholic.” She has two jobs to help pay for her shopping habit. For one of them, she gets paid on Fridays, and the money often doesn’t last the weekend. This is her story.

ZAKIYA JACKSON: I come to the conclusion that I just can’t spend any more money because I need to move the hell out of my parent’s house.

My living situation isn’t completely terrible, but it’s bad enough to the point where I just like, I can’t live here anymore. I’m 19 years old, sharing a room with an eight- and a ten-year-old. Like, this is not okay.

So my boyfriend thinks I have a shopping problem and he thinks – well, he didn’t say that he thinks – I know that he thinks that I am going to have a problem once we move out and I’m just going to be all like, shopping every day instead of saving for work and bills and crap. Which isn’t necessarily true. I mean, I just, I like nice things. I like to have nice things and I hate being broke, which is why I have two jobs.

I’m not physically dependent on shopping. It’s just that if I don’t go shopping, I’m all, “I want to go shopping, man.”

But um, how much money did I spend yesterday? Nine dollars at Walgreens. A dollar fifty at Laney. Nine dollars for breakfast. Four dollars for cupcakes. That’s like $20, like $25. That’s more than I kind of needed to, but whatever.”

When I was an only child, I got anything that I wanted. Anything and everything and everything and anything. But um, once my little brother Ulis was born in 2002, everything changed. I no longer got what I wanted. We stopped going out to dinner. And then I was all like, back burner child for a while.

So I guess my shopping problem is a mixture of wanting to not be neglected and also just keep up with the Joneses, I guess. 

Click the audio player above to listen to this story. 

This story was produced by Lisa Morehouse and Game Theory Academy, a nonprofit that teaches young people financial literacy.