Budgets overview

Managing your budget will help you control your advertising costs and get the most out of your Google Ads investment. To understand budgets, you’ll need to know these key budget concepts and how they work together.

Budgets and spending limits

Concept Definition How it's determined Example
Average daily budget

The average amount that you set for each ad campaign on a per-day basis. It specifies how much you're roughly comfortable spending each day over the course of the month.

Learn more about average daily budgets

This is the amount that you input as average daily budget in the UI. You set an average daily budget of £10.
Daily spending limit

The maximum amount that you can be billed for a campaign on a given day.

Learn more about spending limits

Average daily budget multiplied by two (for most campaigns) For an average daily budget of £10, your daily spending limit is £20.
Monthly spending limit

The maximum amount that you can be billed for a campaign over a month. This spans:

  • First month: The start date of your campaign to the last day of the month.
  • Subsequent months: The first day of the month to the last day of the month

Learn more about spending limits

Average daily budget multiplied by 30.4 (for most campaigns)

30.4 is the average number of days in a month.

For an average daily budget of £10, your monthly spending limit is £304.

Google will optimise your campaign spend for days of the month when you’re more likely to get clicks and conversions. This means that on some days we might not meet your average daily budget, and on others we might exceed it. But you’ll never pay more than your daily spending limit in a given day, or more than your monthly spending limit in a given month.

Diagram legend:= £

Example

On 1 March, you start a new campaign and set an average daily budget of £10. On 11 March, due to a spike in clicks, you might spend £15. On 17 March, when consumer demand is lower, you might spend £8.

Although your spend fluctuates day to day depending on consumer demand, competition from other advertisers and other factors, you’ll never pay more than £20 on a given day or more than £304 for all of March.

Other types of budgets

In addition to an average daily budget, you might also set:

Daily costs

In rare circumstances, your 'served costs' may exceed your spending limits. But don’t worry, you’ll never actually pay more than your spending limits. To understand how this works, you’ll need to understand the difference between served costs and billed costs.

Concept Definition Example
Served cost The cost of all the clicks or impressions that the campaign received.

Say that your average daily budget is £10, which means that your daily spending limit is £20.

And say that consumer demand was so high on a particular day that you received an unusually high number of clicks on your ads.

Your served costs could be £23, which is the value of all of the clicks that your campaign received that day.

Billed cost

The actual amount that you’re responsible for paying, after adjustments have been made to your account for items like invalid activity.

Your billed cost will never exceed your spending limits.

Even if your served costs were £23, your billed cost will be capped at £20 (your daily spending limit).

You pay £20 and Google covers the remaining £3.

View daily costs

You can view daily costs for one or more of your campaigns – or even your entire account – by viewing your Billed cost report. Learn more about how to view daily costs at the campaign and account level

Your budget report can help you understand how much you are projected to pay at the end of the month, as well as how past changes to your average daily budget have impacted your performance and spend limit. Learn more about your budget report.

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