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Sims 2 Tips and Tricks - that I have found.
 For Sims 3 Tips and Tricks click here
 Using Sims 2 on Windows 10 - Changing the window and resolution size.
When I got a new computer - I found that Sims 3 & 4 both worked fine on Win 10 but Sims 2 wasn't showing up right.  I only had a 800x600 resolution option in the graphics setting in the game.  So after much research, I found out that the Sims 2 game wasn't recognizing the newer graphics cards.
SOLUTION:  I tried many different things, but editing the Graphics Rules.sgr file is what finally fixed the problem.  Make sure you back up your old file first, in case you make a mistake in editing. (The easiest way is to make a copy of your file and then rename the Graphics Rules.sgr file to Graphics Rules.sgr.old.)
You then edit the Graphics Rules.sgr file with your new information.
The file can be found in this folder
C:/Program Files/EA GAMES/The Sims 2/TSData/Res/Config/Graphics Rules.sgr
OR if you have the Ultimate Sims 2 version - here: 
C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection\Fun with Pets\SP9\TSData\Res\Config
You can find the explanation of how to edit  the file at  CLICK HERE
 The more solar panels you have on your property - the less the bills.  On one property instead of bills, I got a refund.

1) When I 1st move a family into a lot, I use the Motherlode cheat to give them 50,000 simelonions to start out with.  This usually gives them enough to get a basic house setup.

2) I use the unlockcareerrewards cheat & then put the bookcase in each house. This helps them to gain skills in all 6 areas quicker. It helps University students get the credits they need quicker as well.

3) If you have an object stuck on your property that you can't get rid of - use the moveobjects on cheat to get rid of it. I had a stinky bowl & a baby that showed up when everyone in the neighbourhood came to visit. I used this cheat to get rid of them. Don't forget to use moveobjects off after you are done - or you could get some unwanted effects later. This cheat is also very useful to move restrictions when in build mode.

 4) Put a fence along the sidewalk at the front of your lot, with a gate. Lock the gate - with "disallow pets."  This will keep stray pets from coming onto your lot digging holes or destroying furniture. You can still play or teach them tricks on the sidewalk. If you have a pet that goes to work - you will have to unlock the gate as your pet comes & goes to work or they will miss their ride.

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Here are some other helpful hints that I have found.  I haven't tried all of them.

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Getting Santa to come for Christmas  

In order to get Santa to come for Christmas and leave a present, you will need to have "The Sims 2 Holiday Edition" or "The Sims 2 Holiday Party Pack" installed.

* You will need to buy your Sims a Christmas Tree for Santa to arrive. The tree doesn't need to be placed anywhere special, just needs to be on the lot.

* A Sim will need to bake Santa's Cookies sometime in the evening. Making the cookies in the evening, will cut down on the time you have to make sure the Sims don't eat all of them. Santa needs a cookie! Santa's Cookies can be found under the Serve Desserts menu on the fridge. A Sim needs to have one cooking skill and own stove with an oven. They can't bake cookies on the stove top.

* Traditionally, everyone needs to be in bed for Santa to arrive and leave presents. You can send them to bed at 9, so they won't see Santa but Sims do not need to asleep for Santa to come

* Santa Clause will arrive at 10 PM and leave a present for the family. He will then eat a cookie, spend a few hours doing many belly laughs, and use the bathroom a few times. Sims will get a queue an action to see Santa. If you let the Sims see Santa, they will act surprised and then cheer.

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The top 2 most important money making tips are.....1. Invest in Art!   

Sculpture garden or art gallery (paintings)- is a non-labor way to make money. Buy sculptures and place around the lot or just in one location (garden theme). After midnight of each night or when you think about it, go around and sell the ones that are over the original amount. Having lots of sculptures will increase the bills, but in the end you will come out on top. Having your money tied up in sculptures will help reduce the chance of losing Big Bucks form a bad chance card. I've play tested this method using different sculptures and painting. What I found is that expensive paintings/sculptures will bring in more than the lower ones will. A $35 painting may only bring $5 or $10 verse the 5K may bring $35-50. The higher ones can also depreciate more. I've seen the 5K painting bring in as much as an extra $100-$200 but that was after several days of having them on the lot. I sell the item if it is just a $1 over the purchase of the item. The next day, the item could be -$10 under the purchase price. Don't worry, it really isn't much of a gamble. You will end with more money at the end using this option. I've play tested it on many lots and have never lost net worth or money.

2. Max creativity as soon as possible!

Painting is one of the best "at home" ways to make a little extra money. The more a sim paints the more money the painting will be worth. A sim with maxed skills can paint a $300 to $600 painting. A few days after death, the value of the painting will double. To get the higher amount, go into buy objects and sell using the "pick up item - then delete it". If you have a sims sell it off of the easel, you house will get the original amount the painting was worth. This may have changed with one of the EP's. I've not checked it since playing the base game only. I know the "write novel" has changed. The credit for that use to go to the person who answered the phone. Now it goes to the person who wrote the novel. NOTE: A fortune sim - can sell other sims paintings and get credit ($) added toward their 100K want.

Here are some other tips that will help you make LOTS of money without using any cheats.

1. Platinum Aspiration

-- Keep your sims in PLATINUM by dating (NL). Use the energizer so they never have to sleep/eat. They can spend days and nights working on different ways to make money. Painting, community lot jobs (DJ, coffee bar...), aspiration rewards (money tree, money machine), career rewards (chocolate machine, ....) or building skills and friends.

2. Keep the Household Bills Small

-- The best way is to keep the house small and only purchase things you really need. Furnish your house with "low end" items unless comfort is important. Purchase "high end" chairs, sofas, and beds. But low end tables and counters. For early starter families, buy the best recliner you can (high comfort and high energy). You can buy this instead of beds, tables, and chairs. Place in the living room area, near the kitchen. The sims will set in the recliner and eat.... study.... sleep. As long as there isn't a radio or TV in the living room sims will sleep. They don't seem to care that someone is slopping down a plate of jello next to them.

3. Sell Extra Paintings

-- Sell paintings soon after completed - keeping the paintings around helps your net worth but will also inflate your bills. Be sure to sell all unnecessary painting created by your sims as soon as possible.

4. Sell The Stove

-- ...or better yet don't even buy one- JELLO is the best food for sims in relationship to cost, prep time, and shelf (counter) life. It requires NO prep and stays fresh for a long time. It doesn't take as much food points from your fridge. Serve jello before your sim goes to bed and it will (probably) be fresh when he awakes in the morning. Jello isn't available during breakfast.

5. No Fire Alarm

-- No stove, no need for fire alarm = more money saved. Once a sim has cooking maxed they tend to like to cook the lobster on their own (and often). That can drain your fridge fast. If you don't have a stove, then they can't do this. The only time I buy a stove is if I have a sim with the Grill Cheese Aspiration (NL EP). The other reason may be if I'm wanting to deal with the Headmaster. For him, I tend to prefer the outside grill and make "ribs", hot dogs or hamburgers. If I got the stove, I would sell it after he left. (check out Mastering the Headmaster for some great ideas)

6. Smart Milk

-- It doesn't spoil and doesn't cost your sim to serve it. Make it up and save it for later. I guess it does cost aspiration points and the bottles only cost a tinny amount. So this really isn't much of a money saving tip. Used bottles can be sold for $4 each in buy mode (tip given by Cheryl T).

7. NPC's

-- NPC's, who move in, will bring your house 1K plus friends. NPC tend to have higher skill levels than townies. No job.

8. Townies

-- Townies, who move in, will bring a variety of money. (1K to 19K.) Townies will move in with a job and sometimes they may be at the top or near the top of that job even though their skill level isn't completed to that level.

9. NL Townies

-- The Diva brings around 70K plus items in back pack. Mr Big brings around 50K plus back pack items. The slobs - $14 and maybe items in back pack.

10. Slobby Sims

-- Sims with low neatness can search the trashcan by the curb for items. Not a huge money making option, but fun to watch. This type of sim will also pee in a shrub if they are outside and need to go.

11. Gambling (NL Only)

-- Playing cards (poker table) can help bring in money and build friends at the same time. Sometimes sims get stuck at the poker table. If this happens.... use "moveObjects on" and move them away from the table. If it isn't your sim, then delete the stuck "visitor" sim.

12. Maternity Leave

-- Sims on maternity leave get paid for each day they are pregnant, even they are pregnant on a regularly scheduled day off. Keeping this in mind, if you schedule pregnancies so the sim is on maternity leave during their days off of work, they have the potential to make money 7 days a week. If you are not trying to have 10 kids, have your sim get to the top of their career or close to the top before getting pregnant. A sim at the top of the Natural Science career (Uni) will earn 10 grand for one days work. They would also earn 10 grand for each day they are pregnant. (tip given by Karin aka catootje73)

Here are some tips to get each family member involved in making money.

1. Kids

-- have them cook with the kids oven. The muffins never spoil and there is no cost to make them. The kids earn cooking skill and free food for all sims. I think it takes 2-3 muffins to fill up a hungry sim. It could be 4, I've not watched that close. You have to send the sim to eat the muffins, they wont eat them on their own. The child will eat the muffin on their own after taking it out of the little oven. If the muffin burns, watch the sim eat it. Sometimes they say... yuck... but keep on eating it. LOL

2. Teens

-- I tend to avoid teen and elder career tracks. A teen or an elder can bring in more money painting than working. If you have Uni or NL, they can make more money going to a community lot and working in a bar, as a DJ, or at a coffee shop. A teen sim can earn a scholarship, if they reach the top of a career track. Otherwise, teen career tracks don't seem to add that much to the house.

3. Adults

-- For sims who don't go to college, the best paying job is Athletics.
-- Job promotion bonus's - Once you hit the top of one job, switch to another job. The bonus's you get when you advance to the next job level is better than the money you make if your sim stays at the top of the highest paying job. You can move them to a new job or just put them back in the job they currently have just at a lower level. If you have a sim (family sim) who has LOTS of time off available, then it may be better for the Lot to let her keep that job and take time off to raise the kids.
-- Getting a JOB - Newspaper VS computer: The computer allows more choices than the newspaper. A job from the newspaper will start your sim at the first level in that job vs the computer will start you 2 levels below your skill level and friends. Sometimes, college graduates will only need one promotion to reach the top of a new career.
-- Uni/NL EP - If you have a family that has low funds and needs a quick boost. Then take your entire family to a community lot. Pick a lot that has a DJ stand, coffee bar, and/or bar. Have as many sims as possible working at one of the stations. A sim with high creativity will make better money as a DJ than one with low creativity. If you would like a little fun, send a sim with low creativity to work as a DJ and watch them a little while. *grin* Make sure to fill up every sims hunger before returning home. The outside BBQ grill, on community lots, is FREE FOOD for your sims.

4. Elders

-- If you have lots of kids to tend to, it may be better to have your elder retire and work on building those end of life relationships. If the lot lacks kids, then leave the sim in their career. Have the sim paint as often as their needs allow. If you keep some of their paintings, the price will double about 3 or so days after they die. To get the money, sell the painting in buy mode. If you send a sim to sell the painting off of the easel, the lot will only get the original amount. (this may have been changed with Expansion Packs.)
-- Inheritance can be BIG BUCKS for your sims. If you make sure the sim is married at the time of their death, a spouse can get as much as 20K. The longer the sim is married the better chance this amount will hit 20K. A newly married sim will still get the highest amount, but not 20K. Make sure they have a HIGH relationship to their kids - offspring can get as much as 10 K. Grand kids and the sims siblings will also get money. Best friends get about $960-1k. For end time relationships, concentrate on family then friends. Pay out to family is better than to friends. (Inheritance only goes to elder sims who die from old age)

Making Money with the different career and aspiration rewards

1. Money Trees

-- Money Trees are ok, but are more work than they are worth. Lots of clicks to water, then to harvest. I've found a sims time is be better spent maxing creativity and then painting. Some players love the trees and find them a good option. Money tree's can be harvested about 4 times a day. If your sim is gold or plat they will get $40 per tree. If creativity isn't maxed, then the trees may be a good choice.

2. Career Rewards

-- slacker career reward (grow and harvest plants - takes a while to grow but plants sell for $350), culinary (chocolate factory - lots of FAST money. Boxes sell for $3-$6), science career track (sell medicine), UNI Careers - Art (photographs - sell for $100)

3. Money Machine

-- Available with University. Make your own cash but can set the room on fire and can be taken by the police.

Making Money at University

Money at College

The best money strategy for UNI is to know how money moves around in Uni. If you move a sim into a lot and then move them out, the sim moving out will take there share of the CASH ON HAND not the net worth for your lot. If you tie up the money in sculptures or paintings, the sim will not take as much. If you plan to play that sim on another lot, then you wouldn't want to short change them but also may not want them to take more than what is theirs. (example: move in a townie, but want to play them in the dorm. They only bring 1K to the lot, but may take more if you don't tie up the money before they leave). The sim that moves out will only have that amount to work with. They don't get another free 1k.

The second most important is how money leaves with a graduating sim. If you have more than (20k x number of sims on the lot) *in cash on hand only*, the sim going back to the neighborhood will take their share. The total amount of money the graduating sim start their new life with will be the money they subtracted from the UNI Lot. They DON'T get that amount plus the free 20K that sims auto get. If you want to prevent the sim from taking this money, simply tie up the "cash on hand" in items (sculptures, paintings, ...). Once the graduating sim is off the lot, you can sell the items if you want. This will keep the UNI money at Uni. The last sim that graduates will take the FULL amount back to the neighborhood with them.

If you have NL, you can split the money between graduating sims buy purchasing sculptures and placing in the sims backpack. Some items become glitchy after being placed in the backpack, but don't seem to depreciate in value. I like to put sculptures in the backpack, then sell them as soon as I move them into a lot at the neighborhood. If I want the item back, I will re-purchase it without it being glitchy.

If the *cash on hand* is less than 20k x #sims on lot, the graduating sim takes NO MONEY and will start their life with the *free 20K* start up money.

Earning Money at College

I love dorm life for my sims with little money. They usually don't have to pay bills and can work in the cafeteria when time allows (skills and grades are done). For some reason, some dorms will get bills. If your in a dorm that doesn't get bills, then it is a great time to start that sculpture garden. Tie up every spare dime in sculptures. Check them after midnight or when you think of it, and sell the ones that are worth more than the original cost. If your not getting bills, your not paying the HIGHER bills due to the amount sculptures add to the net worth of the Lot.

There is little need to "earn" extra money in uni. If you concentrate on good grades, your money will be close to 20k/sim for their college years. But if you find it fun to push for more money then you can try these activities:
- painting
- work in the cafeteria
- go downtown and work at coffee shop, tend bar, etc
- free style for tips
- play piano, drums.... for tips (put them in an area that sims pass often - like the front door of a dorm)
- hustle pool - can help bring in some money but isn't the best use of time. In the time it takes to play out one pool game a sim could have a painting almost completed. If your sims have low creativity but high pool skill, then this may be a better option. Playing pool could be an option if you have more sims on community lot than what jobs are available.

Once you graduate, complete your sims LTW then put them in one of the post-graduate career tracks. The lowest paying Uni Career is a great deal more than the highest paying BASE game career (Athletic career). Continue switching jobs once you hit the top of the careers.

 Come Back Soon!

Updated April 13, 2016

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