How to Make and Manage Money in Cities: Skylines

A look at how you can keep your residents happy while earning a steady income in Cities: Skylines. 

One of the most important aspects when it comes to Cities: Skylines is knowing how to make money. In Cities: Skylines, the process of expanding and developing your city depends on money. If you don’t have the necessary funds available, your city won’t be able to grow properly.

So, what’s the best way to make money and manage money in Cities: Skylines? Well, there are a few steps you can take and we’re here to show you the best ones. Below, we’ve put together a guide on how to make money and manage your money in Cities: Skylines.

How to Make Money in Cities: Skylines

Below, we'll teach you how to make and manage money in Cities: Skylines.

The first step when it comes to making money in Cities: Skylines is managing your ambition. Don’t try to rapidly build your city up right from the start, as this is the best way to deplete your resources. For example, building roads. Every time you build a road, you spend money. With this in mind, start small. A smaller, self-contained city will help you attract residents and keep them there, thus helping you make money.

Zoning in Cities: Skylines

Another component to making money in Cities: Skylines is zoning. Proper zoning is the key to a successful city. As such, you’ll want to balance your residential and commercial zoning properly. For example, don’t overcrowd your residential areas with business. Citizens won’t want to live in a busy commercial area.

Meanwhile, give your commercial areas a decent amount of space. If they get too clustered together, you can affect the flow of goods. When building a downtown area, you can mix the two together in some respects. Having groceries and shopping in the vicinity of your residential downtown areas is wonderful for convenience.

By keeping this in mind, you’ll be able to make more money off your residents and keep your residents happy at the same time.

Proper zoning will help you attract more residents in Cities: Skylines.

Handling Taxes in Cities: Skylines

Handling taxes in Cities: Skylines can be complex at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to better handle your money. Not to mention make even more money! When you start the game, the tax level will be set relatively low. You’ll want to keep your taxes low until your city expands. The more your city expands, the more you can tax residents.

One rule to follow when handling taxes in Cities: Skylines is keeping the tax rate around 11-13%. If you set your taxes any higher than this, you risk driving some of your residents away. The more residents you have, the more money you make. With that in mind, raise taxes slowly, and try keeping it under 13% overall.

To keep residents happy, keep your tax rate around 11-13% in Cities: Skylines.

Investing in Cities: Skylines

Similar to taxes, balancing how much you invest in Cities: Skylines can be a great way to both make and manage money. You’ll want to experiment with how much money you allocate to necessities like law enforcement, utilities, growth, etc. Try to find a low level of investment that doesn’t create unnecessary chaos or drive residents away. You’ll need to invest some of your money into these areas, but the amount you invest is entirely up to you.

If you invest low and everything seems to be running fine, you can keep your investment low for a solid period of time. In doing so, you’ll be able to make more money. The better you build your city, the easier this process will be. If you remember to zone your city correctly, you’ll find you have lower crime rates. This means less money invested in law enforcement.

As your city expands, you may need to adjust how much you invest, though. For example, more residents and a temporary imbalance in zoning might mean more money needed for law enforcement. The key here is experimentation. Pay attention to the happiness of your residents, but don’t be overly generous. It’s ok to be a little bit greedy in Cities: Skylines.

Be a little greedy with how much you invest in Cities: Skylines. 

Piecing Everything Together

Overall, your city’s residents will determine how much money you make in Cities: Skylines. Remember to start your city off small, and pay close attention to details like taxation and zoning. Once you master a happy balance, you’ll be able to maximize the amount of money you make in the game.

Additionally, you’ll have an easier time managing money as your city grows and expands. No matter what you do, ensure your residents are happy. If they start leaving, you’ll have a harder time making and managing money in Cities: Skylines. So, how do you make and manage money in Cities: Skylines? Let us know down in the comments below!

By reading through this guide, you should now know how to make and manage money in Cities: Skylines.

Morgan is a writer, indie game lover, and socially awkward coffee addict. Need something? Morgan can be reached at or if you like, you can say hello using GIFs on Twitter.


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