Get daily cost alerts for AWS

abdallah profile image Abdallah Deeb ・2 min read

So I wanted to have a better alarm system for when AWS hits us with unexpected costs. It’s better to know there’s something wrong rather quickly and not suffer hundreds of dollars costs for something you don’t really need or want.

The AWS provided alarm checks for hikes on a monthly basis. Here’s the doc they published. So that’s an alarm that sounds when your estimated bill is going to be higher than the budgeted amount, or what you had in mind in the first place. Not very useful honestly in our case. It will just be too late.

The only alternative I found was creating a daily check, that will compare yesterday’s costs against a max_amount set by default. Let’s say you want to have your daily bill not exceed 5$US.

For ease of use and maintainability, I’m using a lambda function triggered by a cron (EventBridge rule) for the daily checks. And I’m sending the Alarm using an SNS topic, this way I can subscribe to it by email, or send it to our Mattermost channel, etc.

Here’s the code:

import os
import json
import boto3
from datetime import datetime, timedelta

def lambda_handler(event, context):
    yesterday   = datetime.strftime(datetime.now() - timedelta(1), '%Y-%m-%d')
    twodaysago  = datetime.strftime(datetime.now() - timedelta(2), '%Y-%m-%d')
    cost_metric = os.environ.get('cost_metric')
    max_amount  = os.environ.get('max_amount')

    ce  = boto3.client('ce')
    sns = boto3.client('sns')

    result = ce.get_cost_and_usage(
        TimePeriod={'Start': twodaysago, 'End': yesterday}, 
    total_amount = result['ResultsByTime'][0]

    if total_amount > max_amount:
        sns_topic = sns.create_topic(Name='BillingAlert')
            Message='Total cost "{} USD" exceeded max_amount rate: {}'
                     .format(total_amount, max)   

    return {
        'statusCode': 200,
        'body': json.dumps('cost check: {}'.format(total_amount))

Note that you will need to add a couple of environment variables to Lambda: cost_metric and max_amount.

And add the following permissions to the role used by the lambda function: ce:GetCostAndUsage, sns:Publish and sns:CreateTopic. Something like this:

    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
            "Sid": "VisualEditor0",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": "ce:GetCostAndUsage",
            "Resource": "*"
            "Sid": "VisualEditor1",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
            "Resource": [
            "Sid": "VisualEditor2",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": "logs:CreateLogGroup",
            "Resource": "arn:aws:logs:us-east-1:*:*"

After that’s setup, go to your SNS topic (created by Lambda if it doesn’t exist) and subscribe to it. There you go, daily checks and an alarm if the bill is higher than expected.


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