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Billgist

How to Create AWS Billing Alerts

Nada Gul
Originally published at billgist.com Updated on ・3 min read

Tips on creating AWS billing alerts for your costs

For many software companies and individual users, overspending on AWS becomes a challenge. You're running a few queries, and the next thing you know, you've incurred a hefty sum on your AWS bill depending on the services you used. While Amazon customer service helps issue refunds for a one-time surprise, you need AWS billing alerts to keep these costs in check and prevent a recurrence.

AWS Billing Alerts

You can enable billing alerts to monitor your estimated AWS charges. Choose Billing preferences in the Billing & Cost Management Dashboard. Under Cost Management Preferences, check the box that says Receive Billing Alerts as shown below.

Billing preferences

Then you create an alarm that sends an email message when your estimated charges for AWS exceed a specified threshold. When you open the CloudWatch Console, choose Alarms, and then click the Create alarm button in the image below:

Billing alarms

Then, choose Select metric and click Next:

Billing alarms

Under All metrics, select Billing and then Total Estimated Charge. Check the box next to EstimatedCharges and then choose Select metric. Then you'll be asked to enter an amount to receive a billing alert whenever the total AWS charges for the month exceed that amount. Enter where you want to receive the notification and finally select Create Alarm.

AWS Budgets

Billing alerts are useful for developers or small scale projects with lower costs. Large-scale projects that do not have a fixed budget every month for different AWS services can use AWS Budgets. AWS Budgets enables you to set up custom budgets, keep up with your cost and usage, and receive an alert immediately when it crosses your set threshold.

Choose Budgets in the Billing & Cost Management Dashboard.

Open the AWS Budgets Console and choose Create a budget.

AWS Budget Console

Next, select Cost budget and fill in the Budget details. You can set up to five Alerts for each budget. Finally, click Create to add the budget.

The entire process can be cumbersome to do, especially if you want to alert multiple people at different thresholds. E.g., the development team manager wants to know when it reaches $1,337, but the Finance person wants to know when the amount exceeds $3,000. Moreover, non-technical users may not know how to even sign into the AWS console, much less configure the right alert thresholds. It is a problem because company's usage might grow over time, so the team might continuously be tweaking the threshold value as the usage increases over time.

Billgist

Billgist is a service that will help avoid any nasty surprises from AWS. You can easily catch a surge in your AWS bills without logging into the AWS console every day or nagging your AWS administrator for updates. You can also track changes over time and be aware of the incurred costs of the services created by your development team. You can set up notification preferences depending on your usage and requirements and receive easy to understand snapshots in your inbox.

When you sign into your account on Billgist, move from Dashboard to Notification.

Billgist Dashboard

In the Billgist Notification Centre, you can choose to receive Regular Status updates and Threshold Alerts.

For Regular Status updates, you can add multiple users for different AWS integrations and select frequency from daily, weekly or monthly.

Billgist regular status updates

Under Regular Status, there is a section of Threshold Alerts. As the name suggests, you add multiple email accounts, pick any or all integrations, select particular AWS services and set an amount for threshold alert. Billgist will notify the added email users when the AWS accounts reach the threshold amount.

Billgist threshold alerts

AWS billing alerts help you keep track of your costs and prevent from receiving billing surprises in the mail. If you’re looking for simpler snapshots, easy access and more convenient alerts, Billgist’s snapshot reports assist you in keeping up with a sudden increase in your AWS bill and prompt you timely.

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