The AWS Free Tier allows new users a limited set of resources at no cost for 1 year. AWS offers a range of free services within the Free Tier limits. Its easy for AWS users to stay at a $0 cost while exploring the console and services. The catch is that AWS does not limit available resources to these free services at all for new users. Its easy to unknowingly get charged for services that are not “free-tier” eligible. We can keep admins aware of any charges over $0 with CloudWatch Billing Alarms.
This guide walks through creating a billing alert for your Free Tier account. If costs increase past $0, CloudWatch will send an alert to a specified email address. The admin can investigate and delete the violating resources, avoiding more unwanted charges.
Note: This will not block charges from happening. This will only alert when the monthly cost goes over $0 in an account. You will need to adjust the billing alarm if any cost is generated for the month.
Turn on Billing Alerts within Preferences:
First, go to My Account.
On the left side of the console, choose Preferences.
Check the box to “Receive Billing Alerts” under Cost Management Preferences. Click Manage Billing Alerts to switch into the CloudWatch console.
Enable CloudWatch Billing Alarm:
Select “Create Alarm” within CloudWatch Billing (found on the left side of the CloudWatch console).
Leave the “AWS charges exceed” field set to $0 USD. Click New list under the “send notification to:” field within the Create Alarm pop-up. Enter your email address and click Create Alarm.
Confirm your new email address to create the alarm. Make sure the email is confirmed to receive alerts.
The CloudWatch Alarm will alert when charges are greater than 0. This allows the AWS Admin to clean up idle resources to get back under the Free Tier limits.
Note: The Alarm will show Insufficient until it collects data for 6 hours.