What You Need to Know About Online vs. In-Store Shopping

For some, shopping is a hobby. For others, it’s a chore. Love it or hate it, we have to shop. Purchasing partisans and retail recluses alike—we all need food, clothes, and home supplies.

At least these days the methods for getting that hobby or chore done are ever-growing. You can still enjoy a leisurely stroll down every aisle, sipping hot coffee to retro pop music. But now you can also literally upgrade your entire wardrobe or fully stock your pantry while you wait for that casserole to finish baking.

With the change in shopping options comes a new hot debate for those who don’t want to blow their budget in the store or online.

Shopping at the Store or Online: Which Is Best?

Drumroll, please . . .

Yeah, there’s no straightforward answer. Sorry to disappoint, folks. But what we can do is provide some insight on how to save with either method!

Pros and Cons of Online and In-Store Shopping

When it comes to deciding whether to shop online or in the store, we consider two basic things: What are we buying and how does our budget come into play?


When you walk into a store, you might spend more than you planned. A quick trip for new socks can turn into a splurge on a bag of candy as reward for adulting and buying boring new socks. Oh, and maybe you need new shoes to go with the socks.

Stores know how to target your weakness. They want you to overspend!

When shopping online, you don’t have to plan a day around shopping. Nearly anything you want is truly at your fingertips. This is incredible . . . and incredibly tempting to spenders. Sometimes the fantastic internet world feels just unreal enough that those purchases don’t have the proper realistic impact. You can spend, spend, spend without realizing it.

Shop With the Budget in Mind

No matter where you find yourself on your next shopping spree—on the couch or down the aisle—make sure you’ve got the most important shopping list of all by your side: the budget.

With a monthly budget, you give yourself permission to spend. That means you can shop without guilt and worry, knowing that today’s spree won’t derail tomorrow’s plans.

EveryDollar helps users create that list—and fast! In just minutes a month, anyone can make a plan for their money and how they’ll spend it.

What’s more: you can track your spending along the way, making sure you never go you’re your budget. As soon as you check out—with that real or virtual cart—add the transaction so you stay on track. Or upgrade to EveryDollar Plus. When your purchases show up, all you have to do is swipe them into the right budget line.