AWS Cost Management

Back to Basics: Getting Started with AWS Billing Console

Managing your AWS costs and usage doesn’t have to be difficult. The AWS Billing Console is your one-stop-shop for accessing your billing, payments, and cost management information and capabilities.

During this post, I will cover how you can use the Billing Console as your hub for managing your billing, payments, and cost management workflows.

Getting Started with the Billing Console

You can access the Billing Console either by clicking the My Billing Dashboard link in the top menu, searching for “Billing” in the Services menu, or clicking on the dedicated AWS Cost Management product links.

AWS Management Console

Using the AWS Billing Dashboard

The AWS Billing Dashboard lets you view the status of your month-to-date AWS spend, pinpoint the services that account for the majority of your overall expenditure, and understand, at a high level, how your costs are trending. This allows you to gain a better understanding of your costs and usage at a glance, while also providing additional context relating to your most-used services, your monthly forecast, and your Free Tier-eligible usage.

Speaking of Free Tier usage, you can gain a more complete picture of your Free Tier at any time by clicking the View All link in the top right corner of the Free Tier widget, which will take you to the Free Tier Report. This report lists all of your Free Tier-eligible usage, as well as your current progress towards the Free Tier usage limits, helping you to identify potential overages before they happen.

AWS Free Tier Report

Diving Deeper Using the Bills Page

One of the most commonly-accessed page within the Billing Console is the Bills page, where you can view your month-to-date costs and a detailed breakdown of the services that you are using and regions in which usage is being incurred. The Bills page also allows you to access historical information about your costs and usage, including information about your AWS invoices. I should also mention that you can download a CSV or PDF version of your billing information at any time.

For example, let’s quickly inspect your Amazon EC2 costs. It looks like there’s a fair bit of spend that was incurred in the Northern Virginia, and you can easily dive deeper into the specific usage types that are driving your costs. Additionally, in special cases, such as when you have purchased an Amazon EC2 Reserved Instance, AWS provides the ability to directly view your costs in AWS Cost Explorer by simply clicking on the link in the top right corner (highlighted in blue in the screenshot below).

Bills Page - Amazon EC2

This will allow you to visualize the costs associated with this usage type in AWS Cost Explorer. Cost Explorer gives you the ability to perform advanced analysis on top of your costs and usage, allowing you to create custom reports.

Accessing your payments-related information

To learn more about your payment-related information, you can navigate to the Orders and invoices page. This page displays information about your scheduled payments and past transactions. You can pay your bill from the Payment Methods page.

Configuring your billing- and payment-related preferences

The Preferences section gives you the ability to customize your settings so that they better align with your business workflows. For example, you can opt into receiving a PDF version of your invoice via email, update your payment method, and adjust your tax settings. You are also able to configure advanced settings that determine whether your AWS credits, reservation-related discounts, and Savings Plans are shared across your consolidated accounts.

Managing your costs and usage

Once you’ve set up your billing workflows to your liking, you can then access a comprehensive set of cost management functionality from the Billing Console. These products include:

  1. AWS Cost Explorer;
  2. AWS Budgets;
  3. AWS Cost & Usage Reports.

Conclusion

In sum, the Billing Console allows you to quickly and easily access billing, payments, and cost management functionality from a single location, making it easy to manage your costs, even when operating at scale.

Stay tuned to learn more how you can analyze, control, and optimize your costs and usage using the AWS Cost Management product suite!

 

Erin Carlson

Erin Carlson

Erin leads a team of designers who are laser-focused on enhancing the experience of accessing, analyzing, and optimizing AWS costs and usage. She also works with customers and field teams worldwide to provide product training and guidance around best practices for using the AWS Cost Management product portfolio. Erin was the Product Marketing Manager who first developed and oversaw the AWS Cost Management brand.