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"The Sims 4" Walkthrough: Money-Making Guide

Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.

The Sims 4 is copyrighted by Electronic Arts Inc. Images used for educational purposes only.

The Sims 4 is copyrighted by Electronic Arts Inc. Images used for educational purposes only.

Money is all in The Sims franchise. Without money, your sims are living out on the street, sifting through trash buckets and relying on the kindness of strangers. You need money to do just about anything in The Sims 4 that involves the continued wellbeing of your sims, and so you need to earn money. How can you make this happen?

There are lots of ways to make money, in fact. The Sims 4 offers plenty of avenues through which sims may accumulate big wads of simoleons to pay their bills, buy new stuff, and expand their homes. This guide will provide a few handy ways in which your sims can quickly pile up a lot of dough.

The Writer's Assistant career branch in The Sims 4.

The Writer's Assistant career branch in The Sims 4.

Get Jobs

The obvious way for a sim to earn money is to get a job. Every sim has, once they’re old enough, the ability to take up a Career by clicking on the Careers button in the bottom-right corner of the screen. Careers start your sim at the bottom, earning poor pay for long hours, though by completing certain requirements (outlined by clicking on the Career button) and sending your sims to work on time, as well as in a Confident mood, you may see them get promoted to new pay tasks and pay grades.

Careers are not easy. They take up big portions of a sim’s day, especially at first, and your sim probably won’t want to do anything beyond veg out once they get home. This is even worse if your sim is part of a Career path that they dislike. Nevertheless, having a steady Career is the most straightforward method for making money, and with some strategic planning your sim can rake in a lot of dough. Here are some tips for doing so:

  • Make sure your Sim’s Career matches their Aspiration. Aspirations provide bonus Traits that usually help the sim in completing jobs, and there’s no point wasting that Trait on an unrelated Career. For example, a sim with the Creativity Aspiration should become an Entertainer or Painter, while a sim with the Food Aspiration should go into the Culinary line of jobs. Use common sense, in short.
  • Pick Traits that work with your sim’s planned Career during character creation. Going back to the Creativity Aspiration, sims that follow the Entertainer Career will need to develop friendships quickly, in which case you’ll want the Outgoing Trait. A Criminal, by contrast, may want to be a Loner, as their work hours don’t permit a fantastic social life. Reward Traits purchased through the Rewards Store are especially good for punting a sim up the corporate ladder, though it’ll take a while before you can afford any.
  • Try to send sims to work in a good mood, preferably one that jives well with their Career. Sims that wander to work in poor moods don’t perform as well, and are less likely to get promoted.
  • Speaking of promotions, always pay attention to a Career’s promotion requirements. They get steadily harsher with each new level, and you’ll want to tackle the requirements as early as possible to boot your sim up to another pay grade. Your sim will get a one-time bonus whenever they get a promotion, so there’s an extra incentive to do well at a job.
  • Make sure your sim gets lots of sleep (six or seven hours at least) before they have to go to work, assuming they’re running low on fumes. Sims are pretty good about getting up in time for work, but not if their Energy is zeroed out.
A sim playing guitar for a crowd (and for tips) in The Sims 4.

A sim playing guitar for a crowd (and for tips) in The Sims 4.

Perform for Crowds

Though Careers are easy, attractive methods for making money, they aren’t the only method. Another viable option, especially for Creative sims, is to perform for tips. Musicians and stand-up comedians can, with the right tools, go out into the community and ply their trade. If they do so well enough they can rake in a lot of tips. Make sure you pick a public place, preferably at peak hours, to maximize potential tips. The tips only begin to flow regularly once a sim is really really good at what they do, so this path will require a lot of practice with a guitar or polishing of comedy routines on a computer before they pay off. This isn’t the best route to go if a sim is living alone and doesn’t have a lot of money, but it works okay if the sim’s roommate has a steady job that can pay the bills in the meantime.

As above, Aspirations and Traits that promote skill-building in the desired areas should be chosen when you create a sim. A musician, obviously, will want to be a Music Lover, and you’ll also want a sim that’s Outgoing, as they’ll have to spend a lot of time with strangers. On the flip side, Loners may prefer the next hint…

A sim painting a picture in The Sims 4.

A sim painting a picture in The Sims 4.

Craft Items

There are numerous opportunities for your Creative sims to take up more solitary pursuits, such as painting, writing books, writing songs, or growing plants. All can ultimately be turned into profit if your sim is sufficiently good at what they do, again requiring a fair amount of practice. The upside to crafting items is that your sim will probably start making money much more quickly than performer sims, and can quickly churn out substantial amounts of dough by selling their stuff to collectors and publishers. Painters in particular can start selling their work almost immediately, and writers can write books and collect royalties from publishers almost from the start. (Write enough books and your writer won’t even need a Career.) Again, crafting items is not quite as immediate as getting a Career, but you can turn a profit more quickly with this route.

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As ever, you’ll want to choose Traits that fit with your pursuit. Writers make good Bookworms; painters should be Art Lovers; gardeners should Love the Outdoors. It’s also wise to give these sims the Perfectionist Trait, as their crafted items will be of a higher quality, thus earning you more moolah for the time spent. Last, Loner is a good Trait here, as these sims won’t have much time to socialize until they get really good at what they do for a living.

A sim proposing marriage in The Sims 4.

A sim proposing marriage in The Sims 4.

Get Married

Yep, this is a viable method for making money in The Sims 4. Whenever two sims get hitched they have the option to merge households, with your sim either moving to the other sim’s home or vice versa. If one of those sims is leaving a household empty, the money allocated to that household (typically $20,000 in the case of sims that don’t have a visible house on the map) goes straight into the coffers of the active household. You can get a ton of money simply by marrying off your roommates and family members. That said, you now have another mouth to feed, so part of that money will probably go into building them a room…

A sim cleaning a dirty toilet in The Sims 4. Yep, even in a video game you have to clean your toilets.

A sim cleaning a dirty toilet in The Sims 4. Yep, even in a video game you have to clean your toilets.

Saving Money

Along with making money, it’s a good idea to try to save the money you already have. Many of the ‘automated’ options in The Sims 4 can cost a lot in the long run, and avoiding them will help you maintain a beefy bank account. Some examples:

  • Rather than making single-serving items, have your sims serve a full meal. Multiple servings cost less than one. For example, a single serving Fish Taco costs $5, while a meal for multiple sims (typically four or more, though it’s sometimes difficult to tell) costs $18. Even if your sim is only making food for themselves and putting the rest away, you’ll still save money.
  • Order your sims to put food in the fridge if they’re not going to eat it. Sims waste so much food if left unattended.
  • Avoid services such as maids, pizza delivery, and home repair. Your sims can do this stuff on their own. Some sims (Neat!) may even enjoy scrubbing toilets or fixing broken radios.
  • More specifically, order your sims to repair any household items that are malfunctioning. This will happen a lot with cheaper items, so your sim’s Handiness skill will rise reasonably quickly. It’s not a fantastic idea to have a sim tinker with something dangerous right off the bat (stove stove stove stove stove), but after a few bouts of messing with the shower your sim can repair just about anything safely. Raising a sim’s Handiness skill will also allow them to upgrade items around the house, lengthening said item’s lifespan.
  • Always sell outdated objects that you’re going to replace - but don’t sell them until they’re in good working condition. A fridge that works is worth a few hundred dollars, depending on the model. A fridge that is broken will net you… a few bucks. Yuck.
An enormous chess board in The Sims 4. Don't underestimate the wonky power of cheats.

An enormous chess board in The Sims 4. Don't underestimate the wonky power of cheats.


Ahh, the bottom of the barrel, the easiest way to get money. As with previous The Sims installments, The Sims 4 has its own set of cheat codes. Hit the Ctrl, Shift, and C keys simultaneously to make a text box appear at the top of the screen, then enter the codes you want. Rosebud and Kaching will earn you $1,000 when used; Motherlode will earn you $50,000. (Check out this article for more cheat codes, you fiend.)

Got any other hints for quickly earning money in The Sims 4? Let me know in the comments. I’ll continue to update this article as I develop new strategies for carting in the dough.


Mitzi on January 02, 2018:

I'm new to Sims 4 on ps4 but me and my daughter found a way to earn money without cheats I don't see listed here. Basically you create and adult Sims to add to your household. Then once in your household u get the like 18k or whatever they brought with them. Then u delete them rinse and repeat.

Sarah Forester from Australia on September 15, 2014:

Thanks! Very useful

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