How can I use Cost Explorer to analyze my spending and usage?

Last updated: 2019-05-28

How can I use Cost Explorer to analyze my spending and usage?


First, enable Cost Explorer for your account:

  1. Sign in to your account, and then access the Billing and Cost Management Dashboard.
  2. From the navigation pane, choose Cost Explorer.
  3. Choose Enable Cost Explorer.

After you enable Cost Explorer, you might need to wait up to 24 hours for cost and usage data to populate. After cost and usage data is populated, you can use one of the pre-configured reports in the Reports drop-down menu to analyze your costs.

You can also create a customer report by choosing New Report. Save the report for later use with Save as.

Here are some common uses for Cost Explorer:

Compare your month-to-month costs

To compare your month-to-month costs, use the Monthly costs by service report. By default, the chart displays the five services with the highest costs. However, the table includes cost data for all the services that you used.

You can also investigate temporary spikes in your billing by opening the Monthly costs by service report. Then, under Monthly, choose Daily instead.

Understand costs for your resources by service

  1. Open the Service filter.
  2. Choose the services that you want to investigate.
  3. Choose Apply Filters.
  4. Open Group By, and then choose Usage Type.

For example, to see how much you're billed for data transfer for Elastic Load Balancing, choose the EC2-ELB service, group by Usage Type. Then, look for data transfer.

View costs by cost allocation tag

To view costs by cost allocation tag, open the Group By menu, and then choose Tags. The Tags option isn't available if you don't have any cost allocation tags. When you create a new cost allocation tag, you might need to wait up to three days for the tag to appear in Cost Explorer.

View unblended cost data for an organization

To view unblended cost data for member accounts in an organization, open Show costs as and then choose Unblended costs.

View taxes by account

  1. Open Group by, and then choose Linked account
  2. Open the Service filter, and then choose Tax.

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