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Is Your City a Bad Financial Influence?

There’s new evidence that whether or not you’re trying to keep up with the Joneses, their fiscal fitness — and that of everyone else in your city — has an impact on yours.

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This month, Men’s Health — perhaps better known for its “fattest cities in America” feature and shirtless male cover models — has  graded the financial fitness of 100 American cities. The magazine examined personal bankruptcies, average credit scores, debts, late payment rates, credit usage, homes in the foreclosure process, spending on housing and average 401(k) contributions to award grades from A+ to F. Lincoln, Neb., topped the list and was one of just six to receive an A+. Dead last: Las Vegas. (The opening salvo: “Have you heard about the new high-stakes game in Vegas? It’s a gamble called ‘living there.’”)

No surprise, the list is heavily influenced by to the poor economy: the bottom 10, along with Sin City, also includes five California cities and two in Florida. It’s not a stretch to guess the housing market collapse and high unemployment rates have led consumers in those troubled areas to put more on their credit cards and less in their retirement accounts.

Men’s Health doesn’t read any significance into the grades, so we’ll offer one: How your neighbors fare financially can impact your financial health. On a direct level, for example, nearby foreclosures can tank your property value, jack up home and car insurance rates, and encourage you to invest in a pricey home security system. The most troubled cities are likely to lag behind in economic recovery and may get worse if residents flee for more secure places. That could leave already cash-strapped cities hunting for more tax revenue, perpetuating the cycle, says Richard Ebeling, an economics professor at Northwood University in Midland, Mich.

More concerning: a neighbor’s behavior can influence your attitudes, whether you know it or not. “Our communities have always given us clues on how to live,” says Kit Yarrow, professor of psychology and marketing at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. If you believe the teacher next door is spending beyond her means, it may influence you to think it’s OK to spend more, too, she says. “Knowing you live in a city with dangerous financial habits can help you decide you don’t want to be a part of that crowd, and make different financial choices.”

Pay Dirt readers, how well does your city’s grade reflect on your financial situation?

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      My Baby got Kidnapped
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      Message
      Sat Jul 11 12:36:43 GMT 2009
      Subject:
      My Baby got Kidnapped
      My Baby got Kidnapped—-
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      hellboy333
      Joined: Mon Jun 15 16:53:35 GMT 2009
      Messages: 84
      Offline
      Ooookay, I had two sims who were husband and wife and they both have really important jobs at roughly the same time so each time they have to call a babysitter. About the fourth time around when the husband came home the babysitter was holding the baby. She took her money, but kept my baby in her arms!! She took it somewhere and the baby has gone from everywhere except from relationships panel!! So.. she kind of kidnapped the baby right? Anyway to get it back? If not we can always make a new one..
      Profile
      Sat Jul 11 12:43:09 GMT 2009
      Subject:
      Re:My Baby got Kidnapped
      Re:My Baby got Kidnapped—-
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      Shelleybelly
      Joined: Thu Jun 04 14:11:45 GMT 2009
      Messages: 1889
      Offline
      I’ve heard that was a major problem before the patch…I take it kidnapping is still happening huh? Sorry, I have no clue how to help.
      Profile
      Sun Jul 12 00:30:51 GMT 2009
      Subject:
      Re:My Baby got Kidnapped
      Re:My Baby got Kidnapped—-
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      vmoodswing
      Joined: Tue Jun 02 17:46:39 GMT 2009
      Messages: 69
      My Website –
      Location:TX
      Offline
      Try this
      Go to edit town and click to move a sim out of the house. When the window comes up to ask you who you want to move, see if the baby is in the list. Then move an adult sim and the baby to the clipboard, then move them back into the house.
      This worked with me when I had twins abducted from a birthday party. I only discovered it because the mom and another toddler got hung in the learn to talk animation. I had intended to try to move mom and the current toddler out and back in to try to fix that glitch when I noticed the abducted twins also showed up in the list. So I moved them all out and instead of moving them into a new house moved them back into the old one.
      Also make sure that you have downloaded the patch to your game after you do all that. I am not possitive but I think there may be a fix for the abduction problem in it as well as the game progression fixes.
      Hope it works out.
      Profile
      Sun Jul 12 17:42:59 GMT 2009
      Subject:
      Re:My Baby got Kidnapped
      Re:My Baby got Kidnapped—-
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      reece22345
      Joined: Mon Jun 08 07:58:27 GMT 2009
      Messages: 10
      Offline
      An easier way to perhaps fix the issue is to force reset the sim.
      Bring up the cheat console by pressing ctrl+shift+C and type in “testingcheatsenabled true”. The console should close, bring it back up again and then type in the following code:
      “resetSim FirstName LastName”
      If this is a little confusing then here is an example. My baby name is John Smith so I would type:
      “resetSim John Smith”
      This may or may not work but it’s worth a shot. It should reset the sim back to a place on their home lot that is “neutral”.
      Best of luck.
      Profile
      Sun Jul 12 20:33:03 GMT 2009
      Subject:
      Re:My Baby got Kidnapped
      Re:My Baby got Kidnapped—-
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      vmoodswing
      Joined: Tue Jun 02 17:46:39 GMT 2009
      Messages: 69
      My Website –
      Location:TX
      Offline
      reece22345 wrote:An easier way to perhaps fix the issue is to force reset the sim.
      Bring up the cheat console by pressing ctrl+shift+C and type in “testingcheatsenabled true”. The console should close, bring it back up again and then type in the following code:
      “resetSim FirstName LastName”
      If this is a little confusing then here is an example. My baby name is John Smith so I would type:
      “resetSim John Smith”
      This may or may not work but it’s worth a shot. It should reset the sim back to a place on their home lot that is “neutral”.
      Best of luck.
      Will that reset the sim even if it’s icon no longer shows up in the household roster on the left of the screen? When my twins were taken, their icons dissappeared from the list as if they had moved out. It was purely by accident that I discovered them when I was trying to move out the other 2 glitched sims.
      Profile
      Mon Jul 13 02:33:33 GMT 2009
      Subject:
      Re:My Baby got Kidnapped
      Re:My Baby got Kidnapped—-
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      reece22345
      Joined: Mon Jun 08 07:58:27 GMT 2009
      Messages: 10
      Offline
      If the game doesn’t recognize them as being part of that household then I doubt it will work.
      Profile
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