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Manage Billing


Setting up a Google Cloud Platform Environment
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Google Cloud Platform provides a suite of resources and services that run on the same infrastructure that Google uses to run its own products, such as Google Search and YouTube. The services offered to access GCP resources include compute, storage, networking, big data, and machine learning.

In this course, you will learn how to create and set up new GCP projects and how to give users permission to access project resources by assigning them to roles such as owner and editor. You will also learn how to enable APIs, set up budgets, and monitor spending.

Learning Objectives

  • Create and manage cloud projects
  • Create and add users to projects
  • Assign permissions to users
  • Enable APIs for a project
  • Set up budgets and monitor spending

Intended Audience

  • Google Cloud Platform Administrators
  • People who want to get GCP certified (eg: Associate Cloud Engineer)


  • Admin access to a GCP account is highly recommended

Using Google Cloud Platform costs money.  At the time of this recording, signing up for a free trial gets you $300 worth of credit for up to 90 days.  Google also has a free tier which gives you limited access to some GCP services as well.  This free trial and free tier should provide enough to experiment with and learn, but eventually, you will need to start paying.  This becomes especially true once you begin building and deploying production-ready workloads.

Obviously, it is important to understand how to set up billing, monitor your spending, and get detailed information on any charges.  I will cover all of that in this lesson.

First, let me demonstrate how to add a new billing account to a project.  Now if you signed up for an account, you already set up a billing by providing a credit card.  But sometimes you will want to have your projects use different billing accounts.

Let’s start by clicking on “Billing” in the Nav menu. Then open the drop down and click on ”Manage billing accounts”. You can see my current billing account.  I want to create a new one, so I will click on “Create Account”.  You need to assign a name.  Then select a country.  This determines the currency you will be charged in.  Now review the information in payments profile.  It suggests using the credit card I previously entered.  But I want to enter a different one,  It already has my name and billing address, so I don’t need to add those.  Finally, click “Submit and Enable Billing”.   And you can see that I now have two billing accounts, instead of just one.

Next, I want to link my new billing account to one of my projects. Click on “Account Management” to view the projects that are currently linked to your billing account.  Since this is the new account, no projects are listed.  I need to select the old account, to see my current projects.  Now I can modify my “Photo blog” project to use the new billing account.  Let me jump back to the new billing account.  And we confirm that “Photo blog” is linked to it.

You can also disable billing.  To disable billing for a project, click the Actions button to the right of the project you want to change.  Then select “Disable billing”.  And confirm by clicking the “Disable Billing” button.  When you disable billing it simply stops automatic payments.  You are still responsible for all outstanding charges for the project.  So if you want to make sure you do not receive any more charges, you should also delete the project.

So now that you understand how to manage billing accounts, let’s cover setting a budget.  Setting a budget does not create a hard cap on spending.  You can still spend more than what the budget allows.  Think about it.  You would NOT want a production system to suddenly shut down because it exceeded it’s budget.  Budgets are used for generating alerts when costs begin to rise.  If you want to actually stop spending, you will need to delete the project.

To create a budget for a project, from the Billing page, click on “Budgets and alerts”. Then click on “Create Budget”. You will need to give your new budget a name. Then select the scope for your budget to cover.  In this case, I will leave it set to “All services”.  You can also tell it to filter out any discounts or promotions if you wish.

Next, you specify the amount of your budget.  For this example, I will pick $100 because it is a nice round number.

Under actions, you define how and when you will be notified.  By default, administrators and users with billing account roles will receive email alerts when the amount spent exceeds 50%, 90%, and 100% of the budget.  You can change or add more thresholds if you wish.  Let me add a new notification at 25%.  Remember, the budget won’t actually cap your spending.  Once you receive a notification, it is up to you to decide what to do.

You also can choose how you want to be notified.  You can send emails or you can publish a message to a Pub/Sub topic.

Click the Finish button and your budget will be set.  Now I will get my first notification email when my spend exceeds $25.  If you are using a free trial, you may want to create an alert so you do not end up getting an unexpected bill at the end of the month.

Next, I’ll show you how to generate a billing export for a project.  Billing exports are detailed copies of your charges that live inside a BigQuery database.  Once you have your charges in a database, you can easily filter and sort the details.  You can also use DataStudio to create charts and graphs to generate reports.

To create a billing export, select “Billing export” from the Billing page.  From here you can choose between the different types.  I can pick either to export all my costs, or I can export any price changes.  For this example, I want a full list of all my costs, so I’ll pick the first option.

Next, I’ll confirm the project I want to perform the export on.  And then I have to pick a BigQuery table to export to.  I do not have any BigQuery tables set up, so I will choose “Create New Dataset”.  Now I have to pick a name for the new table.  This must only include letters, numbers and underscores.  Then I can pick where the data will reside.  If you want, you can set an expiration date for the table.  And finally, you can pick an encryption method.  I do not want anything fancy, so I am going to stick with the defaults.  Click the “Create Dataset” to confirm.

I can confirm that the new table has been created by clicking on the Dataset name.  Now if I want, I can use BigQuery to view my bill details.  I’m not going to actually demonstrate that, since using BigQuery is out of scope.  If you understand how to write SQL queries, you shouldn’t have too much trouble accessing this information yourself.

So that’s it.  You know the basics for managing billing on Google Cloud Platform.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Daniel began his career as a Software Engineer, focusing mostly on web and mobile development. After twenty years of dealing with insufficient training and fragmented documentation, he decided to use his extensive experience to help the next generation of engineers.

Daniel has spent his most recent years designing and running technical classes for both Amazon and Microsoft. Today at Cloud Academy, he is working on building out an extensive Google Cloud training library.

When he isn’t working or tinkering in his home lab, Daniel enjoys BBQing, target shooting, and watching classic movies.

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