A bill is an object delivered to lots on a recurring basis, which requires the payment of Simoleons from the household's financial account. The amount due from each bill is determined by the value of the lot, including all items on the lot. If there is not enough money in the household's account to cover the cost of the bill, the bill cannot be paid.
Bills are delivered by a mail carrier to the lot's mailbox. Once delivered, a Sim must be sent to retrieve the bills, and to place the paid bills back into the mailbox within a fixed number of days. Neglecting to pay bills will result in negative consequences for Sims. How often bills are delivered, the amount of time given to pay them, and the formula used to calculate them varies between games.
In The Sims, bills are delivered every three days. To pay the bills, the player must first direct a Sim to remove the bills from the mailbox, and then direct a Sim to pay them. Children and adults can remove bills from the mailbox, but only adults are able to pay them.
Having more children in the household will slightly reduce the amount the household otherwise needs to pay.[confirmation needed]
The Sims 2Edit
In The Sims 2, bills are delivered to the lot's mailbox on Tuesday and Thursday at 10:00 am. As in The Sims, bills must be removed from the mailbox before they can be paid, but unlike The Sims, children cannot do this. Sims may get the bills from the mailbox autonomously, but usually will not. Teens and older Sims can pay bills, but will not do so autonomously.
If a bill is placed in the mailbox before 10:00 am, the mail carrier will come to collect them that day, otherwise, the mail carrier will come the next day. Sims will have four days to pay the bills, therefore the repo-man will only come on a Saturday or Monday at 10:00 am.
The Sims 2: UniversityEdit
In University, bills are delivered to college sub-neighbourhoods every three days. On campus, bills are delivered to residential lots, dormitories and greek houses, but delivery to dorms can be haphazard.
The Sims 2: SeasonsEdit
Seasons introduced the ability to pay bills by clicking on the mailbox and selecting "Pay All Bills", though the bills must still be removed from the mailbox before they can be paid. "Pay All Bills" will cause the selected Sim to collect all bills that are not in the mailbox and pay them.
The Sims 2: Mansion & Garden StuffEdit
In Mansion and Garden Stuff, purchasing green energy sources can decrease the amount owed in bills. Purchasing multiple sources decreases that amount further, and can eliminate bills or even generate a credit back into the household funds. In these cases, the bills will not be delivered and a notification will show how much was earned in credit.
The Sims 3Edit
In The Sims 3, bills are delivered to the lot's mailbox on Monday and Thursday at around 8:00 am. Teens and older can pay bills. The "Pay All Bills" feature has returned from The Sims 2: Seasons and can be chosen from the pie-menu on the mailbox.
The Sims 3: World AdventuresEdit
The Sims 3: AmbitionsEdit
As in The Sims 2: Mansion & Garden Stuff, it is thought that purchasing "green sources" in Ambitions can help reduce the bill amount, by 0.2% per solar panel and up to 2% per windmill.
The Sims 4Edit
In The Sims 4, bills come once per week. Bills can be paid with a cellphone, a computer or the mailbox. They can be paid by a Sim who is a teen or older. They also appear to be more expensive than previous games.
A trait called "Frugal" can be purchased from the aspiration reward store that will reduce the amount needed to pay off a bill.
The Sims 4: City LivingEdit
Not Paying BillsEdit
In The Sims, The Sims 2, and The Sims 3, bills will begin to change colors as they become overdue. Bills start out as a white color, then change to yellow, then orange, then eventually red. After several days of non-payment, a message will appear warning the player of delinquency. In The Sims 3, the player is given the option to pay the bills then.
If the bills are not paid before the end of that day, the bills will explode and a repo-man will arrive on the lot and repossess items roughly equal in value to the debt owed and in some cases more. In The Sims 2, a visit from the repo-man will incur a bad memory on members of the household involved. The repo-man in The Sims 3 will repossess the item that is closest to the debt but not under it, meaning he will almost always repossess items that are worth more than the amount that was due.
In The Sims 4, if a bill isn't paid within 48 hours, electricity will be cut off until the bills are paid, meaning that all electrical appliances, electronics and lamps will cease to function. If the bills remain unpaid for another 48 hours after that, the household water supply will also be cut. The disconnection of utilities will also extend to retail and restaurant lots owned by the household. However, no repo-man will come, unlike previous games. If the Sims live in an apartment, failure to pay the bills may result in the landlord refusing to look at problems with the apartment.
- In The Sims 3 and The Sims 3 for console, there will be a notification warning the player to pay the bills along with a button to pay them if the bills are not paid within 48 hours of their arrival. Likewise, The Sims 2 for console will repeatedly display a warning if the bills aren't paid after a day. The Sims 2, The Sims Life Stories and The Sims Pet Stories do not display anything if the bills are unpaid after a day. The Sims 4 also warns the player if there are 24 hours left to pay the bills, but doesn't give an option to pay them through the notification box.
- The GBA version of The Sims Bustin' Out, the GBA/DS versions of The Urbz: Sims in the City on GBA and The Sims 4 are the only games with a different punishment when bills aren't paid. The former two on the console however, uses the same penalty in games prior to The Sims 4.