Carl's The Sims 3 Money Making from Self-Employment Tips
This Sims 3 Guide was originally written for the PC and Mac versions of the game, but also will help owners of the console versions - PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii. Please remember some info or numbers may have changed.
So, you don't want to cheat your way through the Sims, but don't want your Sim to have a career either. Well, I have good news. For players who don't want their Sims to be tied down with a career, there exists a large variety of ways to make money for your Household in the Sims 3. In this list, I'll briefly touch on the basic concepts of each of the ways for your Sims to be self-employed. There's a lot of money to be made out there for Sims who specialize in one of these money-making strategies. Some of these ways to make money are better than others. For example, Sims who explore catacombs for a living won't make a lot of money, but Painters will.
Rather than harp about a 'one best way' to make money in the Sims 3, I'd like to discuss the concept. If someone were to play only with the goal of making money, the game wouldn't be very fun. They might as well use the Money Cheats and Testing Cheats for the Sims 3. You should be thinking, "OK, I want to play a Sim that's got the bookworm trait. What's a good way for him to make money". If you just want to play an honest rich Sim, who gets easy money without a career or cheats, play an artist, or Sculptor if you own Ambitions.
Maybe self-employment just isn't for your Sims, and you'd like to see a career-money comparison. If you do want to know which career makes the most money, look to my Career Paths List A-L and Career Paths List M-Z for comparisons of the level 10 jobs' money making potential and career rewards in each career track. You may find you don't want the one that makes the most money, but one that works certain days or makes more in fewer hours.
Sims 3 Money Making Tips for Self Employment
Collecting - Collect Bugs, Rocks, Gems and Metals
There are several types of items to collect in the Sims 3. This can be a fun way to make money, as you never know what valuable item your Sim is going to find. To get started collecting, look around the town for items lying on the ground. They can be space rocks, metals or gems. Look for movement, because Sims can also collect two types of insects: beetles and butterflies.
The Collection helper lifetime reward can be a huge help to make collecting profitable. Sims will be able to see the location of every gem or insect on the map. Still, if your Sim finds a good spot and you don't have the collection helper, make note of where you found your collectible because they tend to spawn in the same locations.
Explore Catacombs Under the Graveyard
This is actually a poor way to make money, but I'm including it because it is viable. In the local graveyard is a mausoleum. Sims can explore the catacombs under the mausoleum and will sometimes find objects that can be sold, such as valuable books, Mysterious Mr. Gnome, and gems.
I tried to make a Sim who relied entirely on exploring the catacombs to make money, but it didn't go over very wel. Every trip to the catacombs will result in your Sim coming out horrified by something that happened to them. It's usually the zombie bears that get them. Because of this, on some days when exploring, your Sim will come out completely empty-handed. No traits seem to help with this mini-game.
Fishing for Lots of Fun and Big Money from Self Employment
Fisherman Sims can make a lot of money. They won't require any special investment to get started either, so Sims can go out and start catching fish on the first day. As the skill level gets higher, Sims will be able to catch more rare and valuable fish.
Fishing Sims can make a ton of money: easily make 4-6,000 a night catching death fish if they have angel fish to use as bait. Read my Fishing Guide for more information. Note that the Simoleons earned gets better as you have more perfect angel fish as bait and get better at catching these over time. You can eventually spawn a pond with 10 death fish to have access to them at any hours.
Gardening - Satisfaction from the Earth
Gardening is an awesome, if time-consuming way to make money in the Sims 3. It's a really neat system of gardening where your Sim can gradually evolve better quality versions of plants for replanting. Plants can be sold for a hefty profit when your Sim has a garden full of perfect fruits and vegetables. Check out the Gardening Guide for more information.
Guitar - Everyone Loves a Good Musician and You Can Make Money from Tips
Another high-profile way for Sims to make money. At the fifth level in the guitar skill, Sims can begin playing guitar for tips. Do this in the park where they'll usually be able to gather a nice crowd. Tips come in slowly at first, and will never reach a very high level. Still, this Sim makes enough cash to enjoy life. Playing guitar is also a great way to make friends, so musicians can accomplish two goals at once. Read my Guitar Guide
Hacking - Stealing on the Net
Yes, your Sim can be a hacker in the Sims 3. For anyone who played Command and Conquer Generals back in the day, it reminds me of the Chinese faction's hacker unit. Sims will sit at the computer and gradually bring in little chunks of cash. These chunks get bigger and bigger as the Sim gets better at hacking.
To be a hacker, Sims must possess the Computer Whiz trait. To hack, they'll need a computer. The option to hack will only appear at night time between the hours of 9PM and 7AM. Logic skill seems to help, perhaps in combination with the total time they've spent hacking.
Invent - Drill, Mass Produce, and Time Travel for Profit
Inventing is another Ambitions skill addition. It's a cool new skill that allows you to make widgets for decorating homes (and selling), harvesters to help with gathering crops and picking up collectibles, time machines to travel to the future or past, and maybe find new treasure or clothes. They can also drill into the earth, and while annoying to neighbors, life fruit, pink diamonds and palladium can be found there to help make a SimBot.
Kleptomaniac - Stealing From your Friends
Sims can swipe other Sims' property with the Kleptomaniac trait. To steal, it must be night time. Go to another Sim's house to be able to use the swipe something action. Private Investigators can confiscate items for evidence on a job, effectively stealing.
While you can't control exactly what they steal, you can swipe something in the general area. So, try to use the steal action near valuable items like laptops. If your Sim has a conscience about their 'problem' with stealing, you can return stolen property by clicking on the mailbox. A list will then appear offering you to select recently stolen objects. This is, actually, a viable way to make money and goes well with the master thief career track.
Make Nectar - Not Wine
This ambiguous brewery operation creates sweet Nectar for Sims to enjoy, and, indeed, sell. Nectar can be placed into a wine rack in a basement and aged to increase its value. Read our guide to nectar making to learn the very best, most profitable recipe possible.
Painting - No Van Gogh, Just Big Dough
This is a good way to make money. Sims with the artistic trait and perfectionist are best. Perfectionist will boost their paintings' quality slightly, and artistic will increase the rate they learn the painting skill.
Your Sim can eventually make two large paintings a day that can be sold for $5,000 each. That's a load of money. Also, paintings in your Sim's inventory or family inventory will grow in value over time, so if your Sim has enough money they can store paintings for a long period of time. Paintings gain value at a rate of $5 per day. So, if your Sim stores multiple paintings, it can in away be thought of as earning interest on your money.
Raid Tombs - Riches from Relic Collections
World Adventures adds adventuring and tomb raiding to the lost list of options for making money in The Sims 3. This is the biggest new feature of that expansion, and it doesn't disappoint. There are many relics to be found in pyramids and other ancient ruins. Sets can be collected. You'll eventually find relics worth thousands, and it's pretty exciting to do so. I recommend you start in China so your Sim can get Pangu's Axe.
Real Estate and Venues - Buy Businesses to earn money.
Real Estate and Venues are an excellent way to spend that excess money your Sim makes. Upgrading venues (Ambitions) will allow you to make even more money after investing some of your hard earned money on new objects and facilities for Sims to use while on the lot you own. Read the guide in the link for full information on everything you need to know about Real Estate and Venues in The Sims 3.
Sculpting - Mold Raw Materials into Household Essentials
For The Sims 3 Ambitions owners only. Sculpting can come to about $900 Simoleons an hour when making topiaries, the most profitable variety. Take the Savvy Sculptor trait to prevent breaks and gain skill faster. As you gain Lifetime Happiness, grab the Artisan Crafter and Suave Seller rewards.
Search the Galaxy - Life? Maybe not, but Stars, Lots of Stars, and Decent Earnings!
Sims don't require the genius trait, but will need level 3 in logic to be able to search the galaxy with a telescope. As your Sim searches, they will eventually be able to find highly valuable celestial bodies. There are also several logic challenges tied to this activity. It's a great way for Sims to have fun, raise logic, make money all at the same time.
Solving the Unsolvable - Make Money Solving Puzzles
Sims can solve math problems on the computer to earn money. The 'solve the unsolvable' action on computers only appears for genius Sims. With this action, they can earn a bit of money but run the risk of being a laughingstock in the scienfic community. Thankfully, there's not an actual downside when you fail. I'd think the Sim deserved an embarassed moodlet in the least. Perhaps it's best there's no downside, because there isn't very much reliable money to be made this way. It will, however, raise the logic skill. I'd prefer to search the galaxy myself.
Writing - Massive Money from Royalties Writing Books
Writing is another good way to make money in the Sims 3. With a high writing skill, authors can hammer out books quickly and collect royalty checks for six weeks. Read my guide to the writing skill for more information on making an author Sim.
Thank you for the hint and when there is time, we will get it added.
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