AWS Budgets Cost Control

AWS Cost Control Using Budget Monitor Alert

Have you worried about getting a huge surprise bill from AWS after running some data science or machine learning project? This tutorial talks about how to use AWS Budgets to prevent over-spending. We will cover:

  • How to choose an AWS budget type?
  • How to create a budget alert?
  • How to monitor and modify a budget?

Resources for this post:

  • More tutorials on AWS
  • If you prefer the video version of the tutorial, please check out the video on YouTube
AWS Budgets Billing Alert –

Step 1: Access AWS Budgets And Choose Budget Type

Step 1.1: Search budgets in the AWS console search bar and click AWS Budgets from the search results.

Step 1.2: Click the orange Create budget button to create a new budget.

Step 1.3: Select the budget type from the list. There are four budget types available.

  • Cost budget is the recommeded budget type. It monitors the cost against a specified dollar amount. When the cost meets the specified dollar amount, the AWS acount user receives alerts.
  • Usage budget monitors the specified usage types such as EC2 or S3.
  • Saving Plans budget tracks the utilization for Saving Plans and send out alerts if they are underutilized.
  • Reservation budget tracks the utilizationn for reservations and send out alerts if they are underutilized. Reservation alerts are supported for Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, Amazon Redshift, Amazon ElastiCache, and Amazon Elasticsearch reservations.

I will choose Cost budget because my goal is to control the cost amount. Then click the orange Next button.

Step 2: Create A Budget

Step 2.1: Name the budget

Under Details, give the budget a name and click the orange next button. I called it “monitor overall cost”.

Step 2.2: Set the budget amount.

I set the period to be monthly for the recurring budget. The start month defaults to the current month, but you can change to a future month.

There are three options for the budgeting amount. Use Fixed for the same budgeted amount every month, use Planned budget for different budgeted amounts every month, and use Auto-adjusting to dynamically set budget based on the past spending patterns.

I use a fixed amount of $1.00 because I do not expect high costs for the next few months. You can use Last month’s cost as a reference to set the budget amount.

Step 2.3: Budget scoping (optional)

Budget scoping is for adding filters and breaking down the cost information. The default recommended option is All AWS services, which track any cost incurred from any service for the account. We will leave it as is and click the orange Next button.

Step 3: Configure Budget Alerts

Step 3.1: Add an alert threshold.

We can create up to 5 alerts for the budgeted amount by clicking Add an alert threshold.

For Alert #1, we set the threshold to be 50% of the budgeted amount. If you prefer to set the threshold based on the budget amount instead of percentage, you can click the dropdown arrow under Threshold and choose Absolute Value.

The Trigger can be based on the Actual cost or the Forecasted cost. We are using the actual cost.

After selection, the Summary is updated to “When your actual cost is greater than 50.00% ($0.50) of your budgeted amount ($1.00), the alert threshold will be exceeded.”

Next, under Notification preferences, enter the email address for receiving alerts. You can also add Amazon SNS Alerts and Amazon Chatbot Alerts.

Step 3.2: If you would like to add more alerts, click the + Add alert threshold button. Otherwise, click the orange Next button.

Step 4: Attach Actions To Alerts (Optional)

If you are interested in triggering cost-saving actions whenever your alert threshold has been exceeded, click Add Action for the alert.

AWS Budgets requires specific IAM permissions to run an action.

I want my program to keep running after reaching the 50% threshold, so I will click the Remove button to remove the action setup. You can set up the actions for the IAM roles based on your project needs.

Step 5: Review The Budget

The 5th step is to click the orange Next button to review the budget setup.

AWS Budgets Creation –

If everything looks correct, click the orange Create budget button, and we will see the green notification about the budget has been created successfully.

Step 6: Budget Edit and Report

After checking the box next to the budget name, we can click the Actions button to Edit, Delete, Copy, or Create budget report.

AWS Budgets Edit Delete Copy or Create –

We can also click the blue budget name to check the budget details.


In this tutorial, we talked about how to use AWS Budgets to monitor AWS costs. We covered:

  • How to choose an AWS budget type?
  • How to create a budget alert?
  • How to monitor and modify a budget?

For more information about data science and machine learning, please check out my YouTube channel and Medium Page or follow me on LinkedIn.


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