How to Prevent Overspending on Android Apps in the Play Store

How To Avoid Overspending Apps Featured

If you have a tendency toward spending a bit too much on Android apps and games each month, and you’d like to start cutting down on these purchases, then you may be interested to know that Google has a feature for you that could be very handy.

The tech giant quietly rolled out this tool back in 2019, so a lot of users may not even be aware of its existence. The option is available for most Android devices, and in this article we explain how you can implement it yourself in order to start curbing your Google Play expenses.

Enter the Google Play Store Budgeting Tool

Google is making it easier for people to keep their app spending habits in check through a relatively new budgeting tool. This feature can be accessed from the Play Store on Android phones or tablets, but not via the Web.

The tool basically allows users to set a monthly budget to be spent on apps and other digital content. This cap applies to every type of content available via the Play Store, including movies, TV shows, music and more.

How to Set a Monthly App Budget on Your Android Device

1. Open the Google Play Store on your device.

2. Tap on the hamburger menu located in the upper-left corner of the display.

How To Avoid Overspending Apps Play Store Menu

3. Select Account.

How To Avoid Overspending Apps Play Store Account

4. From there, select the Purchase History tab.

Avoid Overspending Apps Play Store Purchase History

5. Set a budget for the current month by tapping on the “Set Budget” option.

How To Avoid Overspending Apps Play Store Set Budget

6. Set the amount to spend per month. Hit Save and you’re done!

How To Avoid Overspending Apps Play Store Monthly Budget Set

Please note that this budget can be adjusted at any time or removed altogether. Just follow the steps we’ve outlined above to do so. In the same screen, you’ll also be able to see a list of all the apps and games you’ve purchased during the last few months.

However, as Google itself cautions, this tool won’t take any action to prevent further purchases once you’ve exceeded the set amount. It’s meant solely as a way to easily track your spending on the Play Store. Consequently, you’ll have to periodically check the feature to make sure you didn’t go above your budget, although Google says it will let you know if you’re getting close.

Now, given all this, it wouldn’t hurt to set up some extra precautions to ensure your spending is kept in check. For instance, you should consider enabling authentication for purchases in the Play Store.

This helps to prevent any accidental purchases and may even make you think twice before buying a new app on a whim. It could also act as a reminder to go back to the Budget tool to see how much you’ve spent this month and check whether there’s room for yet another purchase.

How to Enable Authentication for Purchases on Your Android Device

1. Open the Google Play Store on your device.

2. Tap on the hamburger menu located in the upper-left corner of the display.

How To Avoid Overspending Apps Play Store Menu

3. Select Settings.

How To Avoid Overspending Apps Play Store Settings

4. Tap on “Require authentication for purchases” under User controls.

How To Avoid Overspending Apps Play Store Enable Authentication

5. Select the option For all purchases through Google Play on this device.

How To Avoid Overspending Apps Play Store Authentication Menu

6. Tap OK to confirm it.

Now every time you make a purchase, whether for a new app, game or in-app purchase, you’ll be required to authenticate via your Google password.

Alternatively, you can also set up Biometric authentication for your Google Play purchases from the same User controls section. Once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to use whatever biometric authentication you have on your phone to authorize payments to go through.

How To Avoid Overspending Apps Play Store Enable Biometric

How to Remove Your Payment Details from the Google Play Store

Now, if you want to take further action towards minimizing the temptation to buy new apps or games, you could also try removing your payment details from the Play Store.

1. Open the Google Play Store on your device.

2. Tap on the hamburger menu located in the upper-left corner of the display.

How To Avoid Overspending Apps Play Store Menu

3. Select Payment options.

How To Avoid Overspending Apps Play Store Payment

4. Tap on More payment settings.

How To Avoid Overspending Apps More Payment Options

5. A G Pay page will open in a browser window.

6. Find the payment method you want to get rid of and tap Remove.

How To Avoid Overspending Apps Remove Card

7. Tap Remove again and you’re done.

How To Avoid Overspending Apps Play Store Remove Payment Option

By combining the methods described above, you should now be able to prevent overspending and keep your app-related expenses under control. If your device is also being used by a minor, then you may want to take the necessary steps to also childproof your Android..

If you are in the lucky position of having some money left to spend this month, you may want to check out this list of new mobile games to try.

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Alexandra Arici Alexandra Arici

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

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