Manila, Philippines

12 Money Lessons From Sim City BuildIt

12 Money Lessons From Sim City BuildIt
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I started playing SimCity BuildIt more than a month ago and here are some personal finance insights I gathered while slowly building Investment and keeping its 800K++ residents (and counting) 100% happy (so far).

More than keeping Sims happy though, it should be us, every Juan who should be striving to be both happy and financially free!

1. Great things take time to build. 

So does great wealth. So make sure you make time your ally. As we say, it’s less of how much money but more of how much time you give your investments to grow. Amount of money is secondary. Time is primary.

2. Delay of gratification is key.

You learn how to slowly and painfully save up for a need. And prioritize it over a want, or a good-to-have. In the meantime, while still accumulating Simoleons or true wealth, you sit tight, patient and disciplined. Focused on the goal. Once you reach it, enjoy the fireworks!

3. Learn to differentiate a need vs a want. 

Residents may clamor for specializations such as education, transport or entertainment but they may remain 100% happy without these (as long as the basic services are provided). Whereas congested roads and lack of parks, police, firefighters and hospitals, if not addressed ASAP, will result to abandoned buildings, plunging population and city tax revenues. Same with your finances. Check which ones are necessary and urgent. The rest can wait as these are just good-to-haves.

4. Keep your resources and factories busy.

Ensure that they are working for you, preferably day and night, even if you sleep. In real life, your money should be busy working for you too, day and night. Busy — not just you but your money too. Passive income streams and investments.

5. Sleep on it. 

There’s no use watching the countdown for your items to be available. Just ensure that you’ve properly queued the items on demand. Then be productive somewhere else. Once you’ve built your investments, set it aside (which is different from ignoring it) and let it grow. Then start new ones while checking up on existing ones from time to time.

6. Identify and address your bottlenecks. Increase your capacity.

Usually these are  supply stores as they can only process / manufacture one item at a time. Make sure to prioritize the items that will have a bigger immediate positive impact to your City. Don’t use their full capacity on items that are not useful at the moment. Keep them efficient. Increase your City Storage gradually. Expand your land area gradually. 
In the same manner, increase your financial capacity gradually. Crucial here is an increased financial IQ and renewed view about money. Let go of false beliefs and old-fashioned apprehensions. A key teaching from TRC is that many of us want to be materially rich but are not ready to be spiritually and psychologically rich (e.g. notion that money is evil and that striving to be truly rich is a sin). God wants us to have a good life, life to the fullest.


7. Sometimes we can anticipate the expenses along the way and budget for them. Sometimes.

Other times emergency expenses come up (such as congested roads or uncovered areas) and there’s nothing we can do but endure it and slowly find capital for these. We might suffer along the way but such is the game of SimCity and game of life. That’s why prudent financial management advises keeping emergency funds.

8. Don’t rush into upgrades.

Sure upgrades lets your city earn more taxes but it also may also give you more responsibilities and expenses (such as higher utilities capacity, police, sewage and fire protection coverage). In the same manner, don’t rush into an upgraded lifestyle. Sure it seems more desirable but behind it all are higher expenses. Can you afford it?

9. Necessary items such as parks, police, fire and health come in various sizes, prices and coverage areas.

While the entry level services may seem cheap, a closer look reveals that it’s actually more expensive when Juan computes it in terms of “coverage area per Simoleon” (like our sachet economy mindset). Meanwhile, other services such as sewage, waste management, factories may have less pricey options but big dirty radius, which also translates to wasted space that could have been used for residential areas, which in turn equate to tax revenues.
There are times we can only afford the entry level items as it’s urgent. Sometimes we can wait, save up a bit more, and purchase the bigger item with wider coverage. Or other times, we can demolish the old items, get 50% refund and buy a bigger item. Same with Juan’s finances, we have to be perceptive on how to handle different financial situations, whether we have to spend now of if we have time to endure and to wait. But always try to journey towards the end goal of being cost efficient and practical as frequent as possible.


10. It takes a lot of patience and sitting down while waiting for your items in production to finish. 

You can shorten the waiting time but you have to pay SimCash. In Juan’s investments, patience is also a must. Rushing into Juan’s investments or impulsively pulling out existing ones can be costly.

11. Trade. Do buy and sell to earn Simoleons faster. 

Sometimes the city makes a living by globally trading donuts, smoothies, TVs, refs, even shoes and watches instead of upgrading buildings. If you have items you don’t need for the meantime or excess supply, sell these in the Global Trade to someone who needs it. Here internet connection is required. Similarly, trade stocks. Do buy and sell of items. Be a middleman to bridge supply and demand. Don’t just rely on one or two income source.

12. We will make mistakes.

In SimCity you can easily move around buildings at no cost, bulldoze paid items and infrastructure for a 50% refund and rearrange the whole city as need be. In investments, mistakes can be more costly but that’s a reality we cannot escape. Sometimes we have to cut losses, learn from it, avoid repeating it and move on.

Come visit my city and looking forward to be your neighbor. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Subscribe to us via email for FREE. Simply encode your email address below:



 Filipino Personal Finance

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