{ Even More Cool Stuff: * Mini-Games * } Sims 2 Nickel and Dimed Challenge This challenge was inspired by, and is named for, the book ...

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{ Even More Cool Stuff: *Mini-Games* }

Sims 2 Nickel and Dimed Challenge

This challenge was inspired by, and is named for, the book “Nickel and Dimed” by Barbara Ehrenreich (which has nothing whatsoever to do with Sims, but is nevertheless highly recommended). The idea is to mimic as closely as possible the life of an unskilled single mother trying to make ends meet for herself and her kids. I know there are some challenges that include similar ideas (Single Parent, Poverty, etc.), but I seriously think you should try this one. This challenge has some restrictions that will keep your financial situation very tense. (at least at first, it gets easier later on), but apart from financial problems, you’re allowed to do pretty much anything you want. (as long as you can afford it). Taking the whole family on a seven day vacation is not forbidden – and if you can find a way to do it, well... do it!

Starting Conditions:
You’re a single parent with almost no assets and no marketable skills. You have been a
homemaker and out of the job market for years, but now your partner is gone and you need to be the bread winner.

Create a family in CAS:
A Mom (or Dad – there’s no real reason why your single parent can’t be male; single dad’s are rarer than single moms, but there are nevertheless lots of them out there. Nevertheless, I will refer to the parent as “Mom” in these rules, since I can’t be bothered to write “Mom or Dad” all the time).
Can be any aspiration you want, and have any character traits you want. Obviously, certain traits, like being active and neat, will make life easier, but if you want an extra challenge, making a lazy sloppy wealth aspiration Sim could sure make things interesting. You can even role for it if you want to.

A Child – any gender, any personality, anything you like.

A Toddler – again, you’re completely free in your choices.

  • You have to start on a blank 4x4 lot.
  • Your house must be built with the original 20k. (No money cheats)
  • Your family can’t have more than $400 cash.

1.Must delete Mr. Humble's computer, if you have freetime. (remember, you are poor).
2.Life in poor neighbourhoods is often unsafe , so you cannot have a burglar or smoke alarm, and no sprinklers.
3.If you’re given the genie lamp, you have to keep it, unused, in some corner of your lot. No selling it, and no wishes. (unless you have an expansion pack, that has an inventory. Put it there).
4.Custom content is okay if it’s things like recolors or hairstyles. No special objects that will make your Sims life easier, like a bottomless fridge or items priced $0.5.
5.No quitting without saving after bad events.
6.No aspiration reward objects.
7.If you want a kid to go to college, they can, but only if they manage to raise at least $2500 in scholarships, since you won’t be able to help them. Also, they have to live with you until their late teens (after all, 13 year old don’t go to college). Once the age indicator reads “becomes an adult in 5 days” (or less), you can have them move to college.

The Goal:
Raising your kids sucessfully until they’re old enough to take care of themselves. If you can get all children to adult age without anyone dying or being taken away by the social worker, you’ve made it.

Note: In the real world there are skills and other rules included, that may not be actuate. Some of the skills such as creative skills, wouldn't necessary get you a promotion. Although in the Sim having these skills, are very likely to so.)

We’re simulating the life of an unskilled worker, so obviously, there are severe restrictions on skill building. These restrictions apply only to the Mom, not the kids.

  1. Cooking & Cleaning: Obviously, you will automatically build up some skills in these areas just by keeping house. But since the last thing Mom would want to do after a long day of working and household chores is sit down and read about cleaning.- cleaning can only be learned “by doing,” not from a book. Cooking can be learned “by doing” or from the TV (since many people enjoy cooking shows. However like cleaning it can't be read learned by book.
  2. Mom cannot have more than one skill point each in mechanical, charisma, creativity, logic, or body. (If something breaks or your Sim get fat, find a way to live with it, or/and influence someone to fix the broken object).

Exception: If any extra skills are gained through chance cards, that’s okay.

Job Restrictions:

Since unskilled workers usually have to deal with very low salaries (minimum wage, or less if it’s a “tipped” job), you can only work in the following career tracks:
Gamer (Seasons)
Music (Seasons)
Architect (Free Time)
Dance (Free Time)
1.If none of these are offered on the day you’re looking, that means you couldn’t find a job, and will have to try again the next day. (This applies only to the Mom, teens can take jobs in any career track you want.)
2.Of course, because of the limits on skilling, you can’t advance very far; if you get promoted “above your skills” by a chance card, that’s fine.
3.You get NO vacation or sick days. If your Mom misses the car pool for any reason, she HAS to quit her job (unless you have another way to get her to work) immediately (i.e. before the “paid vacation” kicks in – if you don’t have any days of paid vacation piled up, you have to quit your job anyway).
4.Job hunting is hard, it takes time, effort, and resources (filling in applications, getting to interviews, waiting to hear back, going to drug tests…). If you lose/quit your job for any reason, you cannot immediately take a new one from the paper ( you have to wait until the next paper). If you have a computer, you have to wait from the point you lose/quit your job until the next time the jobs on offers change.
5.Neither Mom nor any teenagers of the household may work for any owned businesses by neighborhood Sims.
6.When mom becomes an elder, she has to quit her job (not retire) and take an elder job instead.

(There are a few exceptions to the “no extra money” rule, see end of this section.)

  • Career track jobs are the only source of income. The following restrictions apply to all
    members of your family. They’re designed to make the game a little more realistic.
  • You cannot open your own business, neither at home nor on a community lot .
  • Absolutely NO selling of paintings, pottery, robots, etc. Mom can’t paint anyway, obviously, but the kids can – but if they do, you have to hang their painting somewhere in the house (or put them in the inventory) not sell them for cash.

  • No working on community lots (as a DJ, bartender, etc.), performing for tips, hustling pool, taking part in competitions, etc.

  • No selling off furniture.
There are only two exceptions to this rule:
You can sell furniture if you’re upgrading to a better item of the same kind.
You can sell “outgrown” items such as the crib and any toddler items once your youngest becomes a child.

No selling date rewards (if you even have the time, money, and energy to date) – if your beau gives you a bunch of flowers, you can’t turn around and sell it for grocery money. If it’s a bunch of flowers or a small item, you may use it, but if it’s anything “big” (i.e. worth over $200)
It has to be kept in inventory and not used.
No pet jobs, or selling pets for money (see below).
If you decide to grow vegetables in your garden or to go fishing (on a community lot – no adding a pond to your lot), the resulting produce/fish must be used to stock the fridge or juicer or hung on the wall – no selling for cash. (This rule also applies to boots.)
Absolutely no digging for treasure.


The only ways you are allowed to make extra money are the following:
Your children can run a lemonade stand. (This is the sole exception to the “no own business” rule.)

  • Teens can get a job (in any career track) – but if they do, they have to abide by the “no vacation or sick days” rule.

  • Salvaging.

  • If you get money in a way you can’t help, like through a chance card, or a kid getting money from a relative for good grades, or an uncontrollable side effect from something like the telescope.

  • Service Sims:
    You cannot hire the maid or gardener.
    You can (and will have to) hire the nanny. Since you
    can't skill mechanical beyond one point, you may have to hire a repairman, or live with the broken object (unless one of your kids is old enough to repair, or you can influence a
    neighbor). No selling and replacing it . Apart from the maid and gardener, you're free to hire any service Sim you want and can pay for, order pizza, and do anything else the phone allows.

    Since moving is expensive, you have to play the whole challenge on the same lot. You can, however, make any changes to the house that you can afford (without cheats or hacked $0 items).
    As soon as a teen turns adult, they have to move out on their own. They cannot take any siblings with them (but can take pets). Symbolically for all the stuff a person normally takes when they move out, they must take their bed. If you have a bunch of old craft projects, and date flowers hanging around the lot that you don't know what to do with, they can take those, too - in fact, this is a great opportunity to get rid of stuff you no longer want. If the child is going to college, the same rules apply (except that they obviously can't take pets).
    You cannot move another Sim into the lot - this means no getting married in particular, but also no "roomies" or anything. The only way other Sims may join your family is through birth or adoption.

    You are allowed to get a pet from any source - adopt a stray, adopt from the agency or go to a pet store (if you can afford it). But keep in mind the expenses.
    If you decide to adopt a pet, the pet cannot get a job (in real life, the only people who make money with their pets are professional animal trainers, not average working people.) You also cannot sell your pets, or breed litters for money - any pets you can no longer keep have to be given away, not sold. (The prices you get in the game for pets are ridiculous. Real life breeders make nowhere near that much - in fact, good responsible breeders who do all the necessary health checks and provide optimum care usually barely break even. No way could you make enough money from a litter of kittens to feed your family for a month)!

    People help each other out, any member of your family is free to use their influence points to get visitors to repair, clean, etc.

    • You cannot get your children into private school.
    • Mom can only help children with homework - teenagers have to cope without help.

    You must take all chance cards.
    No using the "grow up" self-interaction. You have to wait till the Sims grow up naturally. You may adopt a baby, toddler, or child if you want to (and can get approved).
    Please note that you cannot adopt a teens.If you do adopt, please remember that the challenge ends when the youngest kid is out on their own - so if you adopt a kid younger than those from CAS, your challenge will take longer.
    Scoring System:
    If any sim dies or is taken away by a social worker, you failed the challenge and get no points.
    If you manage to get all kids to the point of independence:
    +2 every time a sim grows up in platinum.
    +1 every time a sim grows up in gold.
    -1 every time a sim grows up in red.
    +2 for every skill maxed by a sim
    +5 for every kid that makes it to college (in accordance with the conditions above)

    +3 for adopting a child
    +4 for adopting a toddler
    +5 for adopting a baby
    +10 for a pregnancy resulting in one baby
    +15 for a pregnancy resulting in twins.

    +3 for adopting a stray
    +2 for adopting a kitten/puppy via the agency or buying one
    +1 for adopting an adult pet via the agency or buying one
    +1 for buying a womrat, bird, or fish
    -5 for any pet that runs away (regardless of whether you get it back or not), is taken away, or
    dies (womrat/bird/fish)

    +10 if you make a story and upload it to the exchange


    Credit source (bbs.thesims2.ea.com)
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