Fixed price but limited "Developer" GCP accounts?

I have a pretty basic application on GCP that I developed and run for learning and professional development. There are competitor platforms that will let me do this for only $50 per month fixed cost. I would like to be able to do this on GCP as well since I like “playing” here but don’t want to have to quit if it just becomes a “little too expensive”. 

How do others feel about this?

Just for FYI, my application has 3 VMs, 1) mysql, 2) GKE, 3) A small kafka instance from the marketplace. I also use a loadbalancer configuration for ingress and have paid extra for my own domain name. I was close to $50 a month anyway since I was running everything on the “First Generation” machines but I’ve upgraded the GKE instance to “Second Generation” for stability reasons. What is too much? Perhaps over $75 a month and it becomes more than a hobby.

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Is this a test application or production running on these VMs? If it is a test application then try to create the whole infrastructure only when you need it and destroy it when you are done. Terraform like tools are there for this purpose. I create VMs to host my new applications for testing only when it is ready for testing and once it is done then I destroy it.

Well, that’s what I’ve been doing, but since it is a “play” project I’d like to keep it running. It scrapes and processes some information on a website and I like to check it when I want without having to start it up.