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. If the bills are neglected, the lot will eventually be visited by the repo-man, who will repossess (take) household items in place of payment. The rate of bill deliveries and the amount of time given to pay the bills 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.
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
The Sims 2: SeasonsEdit
Seasons introduced the ability to pay bills by clicking on the mailbox and selecting "Pay All Bills" (meaning that any bills not in the mailbox would be paid), though the bills must still be removed from the mailbox before they can be paid.
The Sims 2: Mansion & Garden StuffEdit
In Mansion and Garden Stuff, purchasing "green sources" has been noted to reduce bills.
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.
Not Paying BillsEdit
After a period of time, 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. 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 bill payment was.