Managing Spending Limits with Azure Budgets

Budgets in Azure Cost Management is a feature that allows to set thresholds for your spending. You can set it on the subscription level or any other scope applicable to cost management. Once you’ve set that threshold, Azure budgets can then alert you as your spending is approaching the threshold so that you have time to take action in response to the spending that you’re occurring. With Budgets, you can also implement automation once the thresholds are met. For example, if you configure a Budget for 500 USD and set a threshold for 400 USD, you can implement automation such as, shutting down selected running virtual machines.

Creating Azure budget might seem a trivial task but it can save you a lot of money down the road.

Configuring budgets can be performed in a few easy steps in the Azure portal. Let’s get started.

Log in to Azure and go to Subscriptions.

If you have more than one subscription, choose a subscription that you want to apply a budget to.

Go to Budgets then add click on the + Add button to add a budget.

You can set a scope, which can be at the account level, subscription level, or Resource Group level. Give a name to the budget, select a billing Reset period, and provide the amount threshold value, then click on Next.

In the example below, I’m setting 100 USD threshold and the billing reset period is monthly set.

On the Set alerts section, you can configure the one or more Alert Conditions, where you can set a threshold percentage to set a limit and associate an Action group to automate tasks once the threshold percentage is reached.

In the Alert recipients, provide the email where you to receive once the threshold. Bear in mind that the this is only a soft limit and services are not stopped. To stop the running services occurring your spending, you will need to do either do it manually or configure Action Group to automate any shutdown action. I am not configuring any Action Group in this example.

Once you’re done.Click on Create.

Considerations regarding Azure Budgets

  • Budgets reset automatically at the end of a period (monthly, quarterly, or annually) for the same budget amount when you select an expiration date in the future.
  • If you have a new subscription, you can’t immediately create a budget or use other Cost Management features. It might take up to 48 hours before you can use all Cost Management features.
  • The following Azure permissions, or scopes, are supported per subscription for budgets by user and group. For more information about scopes.
    • Owner – Can create, modify, or delete budgets for a subscription.
    • Contributor and Cost Management contributor – Can create, modify, or delete their own budgets. Can modify the budget amount for budgets created by others.
    • Reader and Cost Management reader – Can view budgets that they have permission to.

That’s it for this port on how to set Azure budgets. You should always set a budget and alerts because it’s almost a certainty that at some point you will create resources, and then forget to stop them or delete them. Save yourself some nasty $100 charges with notifications.

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