Microsoft Invest - Capping daily spend on third-party inventory (safety budget)


Safety budgets are meant for CPM bidding and do not take CPA and CPC spending into account.

A safety budget allows you to set a Member-wide cap for your daily media cost spend on third-party inventory. This helps limit the risk of unintentional overspend due to trafficking and setup errors. Your safety budget always operates on the timezone of your Member and resets each day at 12:00 AM.

Proper use of safety budgets

While a safety budget can help prevent accidental overspend, it is not a replacement for the proper use of budgeting and even daily pacing. Best practices for budgeting include:

  • Applying budgets, pacing and targeting at the appropriate level.
  • Developing comprehensive checklists or approval processes to review your setup before going live.

Ultimately, use the safety budget as an additional layer of security, but try to structure your workflow in such a way that you are never relying solely on this feature.

This page walks you through the process of setting your safety budget and selecting which users should be alerted when you reach 80% of your safety budget and again when it has been hit.

Getting to the safety budget

Safety Budget settings are available under your Member Settings.

Set your safety budget

In the Safety Budget field, enter the amount all budgets combined can spend per day on third-party inventory.

You should consider the value you enter here carefully. We recommend that you set your safety budget to an amount that is 5 - 10 times your anticipated daily spend, but you should also take into consideration the amount of overspend that you can tolerate on any given day.

It is important to remember that there is a degree of complexity such that the budgeting system is not an instantaneous process. Time delays that are inherent in the bidding process can cause the safety budget to be exceeded. For example, setting a large line item budget relative to the safety budget could cause severe overspend before the budgeting system recognizes that the safety budget value has been reached or exceeded.

Select users to receive notifications

You have the option to specify users who will be alerted when you reach 80% of your safety budget and again at 100%. To subscribe a user to these alerts, select the user from the list to add them. Users who are currently subscribed to alerts will be shown in the Selected Users list.

Select users who have the authority and knowledge to make changes to budget details that will keep you from reaching the safety budget limit.

Save your settings

Click Save at the bottom of the page.