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Tip #4: AWS billing: how do I check my AWS costs?

Get better visibility and control of your AWS billing and cost management with these best practices and tools.

The cloud model introduces changes to IT financial management by replacing fixed prices with a dynamic and usage-based consumption cost. AWS offers a variety of options for its services on how they will be charged at a granular level to suit your application requirements. The incurred costs are almost immediately calculated and presented to you via various methods.

AWS Billing

For an overview of your AWS spending, invoices, or to manage billing preferences and tax settings, you can access the AWS Billing console. Here you can see your monthly spend, compare it with previous months, and forecast for the current month. The invoice provides details about the costs – whether they are charged by API request, instance-hour, or GB-month for each AWS service. You can also download the invoice in PDF/CSV format.

AWS Cost Explorer

AWS Cost Explorer is a powerful tool that provides additional visibility to the AWS costs, and helps you find cost centers and prepare capacity planning.

It allows you to select a timeframe like MTD, YTD, 1M, 6M, or a custom date range. 

You can filter and group the costs across various dimensions like Region, Service, Resource, etc. It also provides flexibility to filter/group data by custom tags associated with the resources. 

You can see the costs in a tabular form or as a chart:

  • Line chart
  • Bar chart
  • Stacked chart

AWS Cost Explorer provides different types of costs to help you make the right decisions:

  • Unblended: your usage costs on the day they are charged to you
  • Amortized: One time charges like subscriptions, reservations, taxes, etc are distributed evenly to show you the effective daily costs
  • Blended: If you are using AWS Organizations, the blended costs shows you averaged rates for reserved and on-demand instances
  • Net Unblended: shows the unblended costs after discounts are applied
  • Net Amortized: shows the amortized costs after discounts are applied


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