About spending limits

For most campaigns, given your average daily budget, you'll never pay more than:
  • Your daily spending limit (2 times your average daily budget for most campaigns) on any particular day.
  • Your monthly spending limit (30.4 times your average daily budget for most campaigns) in any particular month.
Note: You may find a monthly spend limit across all campaigns on the 'Summary' page under 'Billing'. Learn more about changing how often you’re charged

Visit the budget report to learn more about your served cost and spending limits.

Daily spending limit

The daily spending limit is the maximum amount that you can be billed for a campaign on a given day.

Diagram legend:= £

For most campaigns, the daily spending limit is your average daily budget multiplied by two. On a given day, your campaign might spend up to twice your average daily budget to take advantage of fluctuations of traffic. At the end of month, the amount that you will have spent on average every day will match your average daily budget.

For instance, if your average daily budget is set to £10 GBP, your daily spending limit is going to be £10 GBP * 2 = £20 GBP.

Note: Making changes to your average daily budget will impact your daily spending limit. Learn more about how budget changes take effect

Check the daily spending limit for different campaign types

Campaign type Daily spending limit Daily spending limit for an average daily budget of £10
All others 2 * average daily budget 2 * £10 GBP = £20 GBP
Pay for conversions 30.4 * average daily budget 30.4 * £10 GBP = £304 GBP
Hotel commission campaigns 30.4 * average daily budget 30.4 * £10 GBP = £304 GBP

Monthly spending limit

The monthly spending limit is the maximum amount that you can pay for a campaign over a month.

You can calculate it by multiplying the average daily budget you set by the average number of days in a month, which is 30.4 (365 days in a year divided by 12 months). If your campaign starts during a calendar month, we'll only take into account the days the campaign was running.

For instance, if your average daily budget is set to £10 GBP, your monthly spending limit is going to be £10 GBP * 30.4 = £304 GBP.

Note: Making changes to your average daily budget will impact your monthly spending limit. Learn more about how budget changes take effect

What happens when served costs exceed daily or monthly spending limits

In rare circumstances, your 'served costs' may exceed your spending limits, but 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.

  • Served cost is the cost of all the clicks or impressions that the campaign received.
  • Billed cost is the actual amount you're responsible for paying after adjustments have been made to your account for items like invalid activity.

While served costs might exceed daily or monthly spending limits, you'll never pay more than these two limits. When such a situation occurs, Google will cover the difference. Learn more about how to view daily costs at the campaign and account level

Example: Exceeding daily spending limit

Assume you have a campaign with the following:

  • Average daily budget = £10
  • Daily spending limit = £10 * 2 = £20

Now assume that, on a particular day when consumer demand is very high, the campaign receives total clicks that cost £23, which is more than the £20 daily spending limit for this campaign. Even though our systems are designed to stop showing ads when the £20 GBP daily spending limit hits, it's possible in rare circumstances that our systems won’t detect discrepancies right away.

This isn't how much you pay. Your billed cost, or the amount that you’re responsible for paying, will never exceed your spending limits. Therefore, in this case your billed cost is going to be the daily spending limit, £20, and Google will cover the remaining £3.

Example: Exceeding monthly spending limit

Assume you have a campaign with the following:

  • Average daily budget = £10
  • Monthly spending limit = £10 * 30.4 = £304

Now assume that, on a particular month when consumer demand is very high, the campaign receives total clicks that cost £310, which is more than the £304 monthly spending limit for this campaign. Even though our systems are designed to stop showing ads when the £310 monthly spending limit hits, it's possible in rare circumstances that our systems won’t detect discrepancies right away.

£310 GBP is the served cost for the campaign, or the cost of all the clicks or impressions that the campaign received.

This isn't how much you pay. Your billed cost, or the amount that you’re responsible for paying, will never exceed your spending limits. Therefore, in this case, your billed cost is going to be the monthly spending limit, £304 GBP, and Google will cover the remaining £6 GBP.

Check your billed cost and served cost

Note: The instructions below are part of the new design for the Google Ads user experience. To use the previous design, click the 'Appearance' icon and select Use previous design. If you're using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page you’re searching for.

In rare cases, campaigns may deliver more clicks and impressions than expected. However, it’s important to note that you'll never pay more than your spending limits.

If you'd like to determine whether your campaign served cost exceeded your billed cost, follow these steps:

  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Insights and reports drop-down in the section menu.
  3. Click Report editor.
  4. Under the 'Predefined reports (Dimensions)' drop-down menu, select Other, then select Billed cost.
  5. You’ll see a report that lists served and billed costs for each campaign.
    • To calculate the difference, subtract 'Billed cost' from 'Served cost'.
    • To perform these calculations in bulk, select the download icon A picture of the download icon for Google Ads and Merchant Center in the top right-hand corner of the report and save as a CSV file.

By default, the data is displayed daily and sorted by served cost. If you wish to assess a certain date range, remove the 'Day' filter and set a date range in the top right-hand section above the table.

 

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