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HomeCloudAWSConfigure an AWS budget alarm to control your account costs

Configure an AWS budget alarm to control your account costs


In a previous post, we created a billing alert that triggers when your AWS account spends in total goes over a certain threshold each month. Like billing alerts, this time we are going to set an AWS budget alarm to control your billing account. These two options have similar results for testing an AWS free tier so that you can stick with only one. 

An AWS budget enables you to set custom budgets based on your costs, usage, reservation utilization, and reservation coverage. With Budgets, you can set budgets on a recurring basis or for a specific time frame. However, the recommendation is setting your budget on a recurring basis so that you don't unexpectedly stop receiving budget alerts.                                  

Managing your costs with AWS Budgets

AWS Budgets enable you to plan your service usage, service costs, and instance reservations. Budgets provide you with a way to see the following information:

  • How close your plan is to your budgeted amount or to the free tier limits
  • Your usage to date, including how much you have used of your Reserved Instances (RIs)
  • Your current estimated charges from AWS and how much your predicted usage will incur in charges by the end of the month
  • How much of your budget has been used

You can create the following types of budgets:

  • Cost budgets – Plan how much you want to spend on a service.
  • Usage budgets – Plan how much you want to use one or more services.
  • RI utilization budgets – Define a utilization threshold and receive alerts when your RI usage falls below that threshold. This lets you see if your RIs are unused or under-utilized.
  • RI coverage budgets – Define a coverage threshold and receive alerts when the number of your instance hours that are covered by RIs fall below that threshold. This lets you see how much of your instance usage is covered by a reservation.
  • Savings Plans utilization budgets – Define a utilization threshold and receive alerts when the usage of your Savings Plans falls below that threshold. This lets you see if your Savings Plans are unused or under-utilized.
  • Savings Plans coverage budgets – Define a coverage threshold and receive alerts when your Savings Plans eligible usage that is covered by Savings Plans fall below that threshold. This lets you see how much of your instance usage is covered by Savings Plans.

How - Create an AWS budget

  1. Under your account name, select My Billing Dashboard. Or, you can type and click Billing on the search box, or access to the link below (you must be signed in to your account).
AWS create budget
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  1. This will bring you to the Billing & Cost Management Dashboard. From here, under Cost Management, lets click Budget on the left. 
AWS budget
  1. And now, let’s click on Create a budget.

Creating a budget

AWS create budget
  1. Step 1: The first step to create a budget is to select a budget type. We are going to create a Cost budget,  as we want to be checking the overall cost. Click on Set your budget.
AWS budget type
  1. Step 2: In this step, we are going to give a name to our budget, mulcas monthly budget, in my case. We want this budget to be recurring and fixed, so we select the options below accordingly. 
AWS budget configuration
  1. Scrolling down, under Budgeted amount, we input the desired amount we don’t want to surpass. I am using $15.00. No need to change other parameters for this exercise. Click on Configure alerts.
AWS budget configuration
  1. Step 3: In this step, we need to configure the alert. Similar to what we did in the post I mentioned in the intro of this one. Here, we need to select a threshold for this budget. An ideal number is 80% of our budget. Let’s use the option email contact option and enter one, then click on Confirm budget.
AWS budget configure alerts

Note: in a previous post I already created an SNS topic, and this could be a perfect time to use it again. However, I want to keep this post simple and there is an extra step required for checking the SNS topic option here, so I am using Email contact.

  1. Step 4: Here we review the configuration of this budget alert, and click Create.
AWS configure budget
  1. From the AWS Budget page, we'll see our new budget with an alert created.
AWS budget

We have created an AWS budget alarm that will let us know if we get to within 80% of our budgeted amount during any single month. With this, we can make sure there are no unexpected charges on our AWS account. Very similar to how to configure an AWS billing alert to control charges.



Managing your costs with AWS Budgets

Juan Mulford
Juan Mulford
I have been active in IT for over fourteen years now. I am a solutions architect, working with storage, virtualization, and VDI solutions. For the past ten years, I have been living and working in Taiwan.

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