Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Sullivan Rules and Regulations (updated 30/10)

I just realised the other day that I had a post detailing some of the financial rules I've put in place in Sullivan but things have changed a bit since then and I had left a few things out. So I've put this post together. I've reorganised all the information in my old Finances post and added to it and put everything under sub-headings, which will hopefully make it easier to find the information you're looking for, if you ever need/want to.

I'm now going to take the old post out of the side bar and add this one but the old one will always be linked here, if you need to refer to that for some reason.

First things first (click to enlarge):

This is a nifty little program called Flashnote, where I keep all my notes for Sullivan. I refer to it all the time while I'm blogging and while I'm playing and it is so, so handy for Simming. It works just like Notepad, except you don't need to save or constantly create new text files. I can't believe I went so long without it. I'll go through most of subnotes I have in Flashnote in this post. I always like to see how people organise themselves for their hoods, so if you were wondering what I use, now you know!


I have a rather long post about my aging system here.

I try to match my Sims' aspirations to their personality, so I have some criteria that I look for before I assign an aspiration.

If a Sim happens to not fit any of these criteria, I either roll for their aspiration or choose one that I think fits them.

For secondary aspirations, I sometimes roll a die, sometimes I use the criteria again and sometimes I just pick one that fits the Sims.

To encourage myself to have Sims with a variety of jobs, I have limits on the number of Sims who can be in a particular career at any one time. This is determined by what kind of career it is. A town might have many doctors and teachers but probably would not be overflowing with adventurers or cult leaders.

I have also never liked Maxis's idea of what careers require a university degree and which don't, so I take care of this myself manually.

The following careers are for college graduates only: Architecture, Business, Education, Intelligence, Journalism, Law, Medicine, Natural Science, Oceanography, Politics and Science.

If you look at my Sim profiles, you may notice some non-college graduates who are in these careers. This is because I haven't always played with this restriction in place and Sims who were already in those careers when I started it were "grandfathered" in. Julian Sitko is one example.

What Sims pay for college depends on how many scholarships they earn. If a Sim's parents can't afford the fees, they don't get enough scholarships or don't have the want, they don't go to college.

If they earn 4 scholarships, tuition is $2000 per round.
If they earn 6 scholarships, tuition $1000 per round.
If they earn 8 scholarships, they've earned a full scholarship and attend for free.

I created the last category especially for Raffaella. She worked really hard during high school and I thought that kids who do work that hard should be rewarded. Since Raffaella, Joanna Gottlieb has earned a full scholarship and Nick Moretti will qualify once he's old enough (I don't have my Sims apply for scholarships until they're 16).

Long time readers may have noticed I haven't mentioned private school fees. I previously charged fees to families with kids in private school but since I started my playable school, I no longer use it so those rules have become obsolete.


Adoption: Sims in Sullivan must pay a processing fee to adopt children. This fee is $10,000 for a baby, $5000 for a toddler and $3000 for a child.
Child Support (paid with Monique's child support hack): All child support must either be spent on clothing or items for children or placed into a savings account to go towards said childrens' education.
Fertility treatments: Fertility treatments are available to Sim couples who have tried for a baby unsuccessfully three times and where the female is over the age of 35. The treatments cost $5000. Fertility treatments are a feature of Inteenimater.
Immigration: An immigration fee of $3000 will be required from any townie or NPC wanting to move in with/marry a playable Sim.
Marriage: Marriage licenses cost $500. Apart from the license, home weddings are free. There are fees in place for community lot weddings, which vary depending on what lot it is.

Candlelight Wedding Chapel (Exeter)- $500
Sullivan Town Hall (Sullivan) - $500
Sullivan Community Church (Sullivan) - $500
First Grace Church (Sullivan) - $1500
Benton Park (Exeter) - $3000
Leticia Draper Memorial Gardens (Sullivan) - $4000
Lost in Love Hedge Maze (Takemizu Village) - $5000
Morrissey Park (Three Lakes) - $5000
Seawater Beach Paradise (Cape Elizabeth) - $5000
Cedarwood Hotel (Sullivan) - $10000
Starry Nights Function Hall (Exeter) - $10000

Finances and Taxes

Monique's computer allows my Sims to keep bank accounts. This money earns interest but I have devised plenty of ways to take it away from them! When my Sims age to child, the computer also automatically directs them to put at least $10,000 away for college. If family funds allow it, of course! Some Sims have to stand on their own two feet financially, with no help from their families.

If there's an elder in the house, I make sure the elder's money is transferred to one of their children (or dispersed among all their children) before they die. That's what would happen in real life so that's what happens in Sullivan.

My Sims can also use Monique's computer to take out a loan. They can take out a loan for any reason they want but it usually ends up being a mortgage for a house. In the past, I've had Sims take out smaller loans for furniture and tuition fees. Interest on these loans can be crippling though, so Sims are advised to think long and hard before they take out a loan!

Just as we do in real life, my Sims also must pay taxes. Because it's easier to calculate, my Sims pay property tax as opposed to income tax.

Taxes are collected once every four years. The current tax rate is 10%. Sims are required to pay 10% of the total of their household funds + any money they have in bank accounts + the value of their lot. I find out the latter with the Lot Value button in Buy/Build mode. If a family is renting, they only pay taxes based on their household funds and bank accounts, as their lot does not really belong to them.

Sims can also claim deductions on their taxes. These deductions are:
  1. $1500 deduction per dependent: "dependent" is defined as a child under 18, a full-time student under the age of 22 or a non-working elder.
  2. $2000 deduction for farming families: the Sullivan Tax Office likes farming families because they enrich the community.
  3. $1000 deduction for home ownership.
  4. $1500 deduction for married couples.
  5. Variable deductions for businesses, based on business rank. It ranges from $500 for a Rank 0 business to $5500 for a Rank 10 business.
You may have noticed I don't collect taxes based on community lot businesses. We'll put that down to more of that community enrichment but really, I'm too lazy to figure it out!

ROS - Random Occurrence Scenarios

Currently, I do 6 ROSs per round, selected at random with Random Stuff. If Sullivan gets much bigger population wise, the number of scenarios I do may increase. I won't share the whole list here because it's very long but my ROS list contains a number of different events for me to enact in the game. Sometimes these events are little, fun things, like Galen's family reunion in Round 14. Sometimes they are big, life-changing events like marriage, divorce, etc.

Miscellaneous bits and pieces
I also use the Taxi Charges Money mod and the Vehicles Cost Money To Drive hack. Within the neighbourhood, the taxi charges by distance. Travel to other subhoods is $35. The cost of car trips is generally static and depends on the age of the car.

Pescado's apartment hack is another favourite of mine. It does too much for me to list here but it makes apartments much more realistic.


  1. That looks great.
    Do you calculate what your sims' income is every round, or how do you do that?

  2. Yes, I calculate it every round. I used to be a lot more exacting with it. If their Monday's pay was $100 and they received a promotion that bumped it up to $200 on Tuesday, I'd note that and charge the taxes accordingly. It got really old, really fast.

    Now, I just look at their current wage and multiply it by the number of days worked that round. So they're actually usually paying more than 10% of what they actually earned. It's more like 10% of projected earnings.

  3. Some great ideas!

    I love the idea of an immigration fee. My town's looking for ways to bring in more money.

    And thanks for the tip about Flashnote. I like to take notes on my games when I play.

  4. Thanks for explaining, I'm looking for a way to insert taxes, and your way looks great! I hope you don't mind if I do it the same way in my hoo?!

  5. I never considered making some jobs college degree only, that's a good idea. Do you use the harder careers or harder skilling hacks? I don't, but I was wondering.

    I haven't started charging fees for various things but I think its very interesting. I took out MOnique's computer because it seemed to be conflicting with something, and without it, its hard to do that.

    Do you have a post with details of your playable school?

    I always look forward to your updates. Thanks!

  6. Tanja, I wouldn't have put this post up if I didn't want people taking ideas from it! So go right ahead.

    Francesca, I use the harder jobs hack but no harder skilling. I've banned myself from using the thinking cap, though Sims are still allowed to use the Education career bookcase reward and Smart Milk.

    I don't have a post with details about the school but if you click on the school tag in the side bar, there are bits and pieces everywhere.

  7. I will definatly take some ideas from you, if not all, thank you!

    How are taxes going to be for sims who own shops (homebased and on communitylots)?

  8. Honestly, I hadn't considered that. I think I'll just charge tax based on the actual community lot and let the actual income from the business go untaxed. Community enhancement, and all that. I find it difficult to keep track of business income.

    I'll shoot myself before I ever have another home business, so that won't be an issue. ;)

  9. I always love the behind-the-scenes posts! Thanks for taking the time to do this!

  10. You're welcome. I like doing them - they're very easy to write, for something that I know so many people are interested in.