In a bit of a surprise, Google rolled out a new budget feature in the Play Store to help users keep track of their online spending.
The feature lets you set a monthly spending limit and browse your purchases.
Setting a limit will create a progress bar that fills up as you spend money. Unfortunately, there’s no visual warning if you go over your monthly limit — the progress bar simply extends beyond the limit.
Google does warn you if you go to buy something when you’re over your budget. The warning comes as a small yellow notice on the purchase screen and doesn’t prevent you from making a purchase.
While it’s disappointing the budget feature is so limited, it’s not a surprise. Google stands to benefit from you spending more, so the inclusion of the function alone is surprising.
To access the feature, open the hamburger menu in Google Play and tap ‘Account.’ Then tap ‘Purchase History.’
It’s not clear yet if the budget extends to family accounts, or if its an individual thing. Family account support would be a great addition for parents.
Finally, the feature appears to be part of a server-side change. I had the feature on my 6T running Play Store version 14.4.20, but the most recent version of the app is 14.5.52.