How to make money in Victoria 3?

After I started to understand the economic game in Victoria 3 I started to focus on the other details that are available. And I have to say that at least from the US perspective I came across some very interesting tips. And I’d like to introduce you today how to make a lot of money in Victoria 3.

If you are not interested in theory and want to know how to make more money in Victoria 3 click on 💰 in the table of headings below and you will get right to the tips. If you are interested in theory and want to learn how the economy works in Victoria 3 then keep reading.

This article follows the experience I described in my article on GDP, standards of livings, construction and tips to start new game. I recommend you start with them and come back to this article. But it is not a requirement.

Basic theory about money in Victoria 3

If we talk about money and your treasury in this game, the basic rules of economics apply here as well. Your country has income on one side and expenses on the other. In case you manage to keep the income higher than the expenses you practically win.

To succeed you need a strong economy and a well-functioning market. Sometimes it’s detailed micro-management that can seem complex but that’s the beauty of it. The game tries to simulate an economy so you have revenue from taxes, currency release or trade management.

On the other side, you have a budget that you have to constantly meet. If you have a dysfunctional and dysfunctional economy, then your industry will need to be supported significantly more, and that will mean more spending for you.

To succeed so you have to watch what the game gives you for information. Most things are presented intuitively and if you don’t know something you can view the help which explains practically everything. You just have to read and evaluate everything carefully. Follow the charts that the game gives you and remember what you changed and how it helped.

If you take everything I teach you in this article below and apply it in practice you will see the kind of economic growth I see today. In the first 10 years of playing I went from 30M GDP to 47M GDP which is a growth of 56% in 10 years so about 5.6% grow of GDP per year. It’s a pity that this graph can’t be compared with the graphs of others states, it would certainly show interesting information.

GDP of one of mine game

I’m writing this article while playing. I definitely haven’t followed everything I’ve written yet because I’m continually discovering and adding to the tips, but the overall performance will be even better.

How to analyze your income and expenses?

The money tab is something you want to keep track of on an on-going basis. You should know why the number presented to you in the top bar is going up or going down. In case there is a big jump in it you should immediately go analyze here why it is rising or falling.

I’ve marked in orange the main numbers you want to track, which when you hover your mouse over will quickly show you via a graph whether their income/output is increasing or decreasing.

Quick indicators if you are doing well or not

You want to know all the information indicators that are hidden under each item. That’s why I have a quick explanation that will help you to find your way around.

National Revenues

  • Income taxes = Taxes paid from buildings
  • Poll taxes = Taxes from every working pops
  • Tariffs = Taxes from trade
  • Minting = Revenue from new money deployed to economy
  • Diplomatic Pacts = Revenue from diplomatic pacts

Temporary National Revenues

  • Investment pool = Bonuses from interest groups

Fixed National Expenses

  • Goods for government buildings = Paper or other goods which government needs
  • Government wages = Wages for people working for government
  • Goods for military buildings = Goods used in military buildings
  • Military wages = Wages for people working in army
  • Subsidies = Wages for people working in subsidies
  • Diplomatic pacts = Bankroll and other diplomatic costs
  • Interest = Interest paid on the loan if you go into deficit

Temporary National Expenses

  • Construction Goods = Price for goods used for buildings

💰 Tips to make money in Victoria 3

Work with a cash reserves

Each state has its own Gold Reserves, which is the maximum amount of money you can have in your treasury to work with. This limit can be increased through research and working with interest groups. But you can never have more money than the limit in your treasury.

The opposite is Credit Limits which is the maximum debt you can get into with your country. The maximum amount of “debt” is determined by the cash reserves that each building in your state has and also some fixed amount you get for the amount of your GDP.

All information can be found in Budget > Assets.

gold reserves (orange) – credit limits (red)

But why I mention this as the first tip is that if you have a lot of money in your coffers, especially if you are approaching the max. So you shouldn’t be afraid and you should invest the money you have into your economy. For example, support building more or put the money into buying obligations.

But beware, if you get into a deficit you will have to pay interest on the amount owed, which will rise as the debt increases. So if you have a lot of money, invest it. If you have debt, make it a priority to pay it off because until it is paid off the money will keep disappearing.

Optimize your construction sector

Your biggest expense if you are not at war will be the construction sector. You have to pay for raw materials. So it makes sense to invest in making those inputs cheaper. Because the following equation is true:

lower price of input raw materials => lower costs => you save money

So you have to keep an eye on the construction sector and work actively with it. The more you build the more revenue opportunities you create. On the other hand, if you do not work well with it, you will not use the full potential of construction and therefore your GDP will grow slower.

I have written a more detailed article on what raw materials are consumed by levels, in which you can also find a cost calculator. If you have a shortage of a resource, your buildings will be expensive and this will lead to you losing money.

If you want to increase your building speed you can go into a temporary deficit, but if you have an expensive raw good your new construction buildings will have to focus to increase the income of that expensive raw material.

Subsidies of expensive items

In addition to the Construction sector, you must also pay for other sectors including Government and Military. In both cases, these are expenses that you want to keep to a minimum. The Government sector needs to pay primarily for the maintenance of government buildings and the goods they consume.

I recommend that you build only those buildings that you immediately need. And with the same approach, work with the goods that these buildings need. Paper supply is essential to have a functioning Government Administration and Clippers are needed to have enough trade routes.

At the same time be careful these raw materials are important to you do not trade them with some other country. Build your own factories/workshops for these goods so that you always have enough.

Similar to Government Buildings, the same principle is applied to Military Buildings. Again you pay for each building you build so you also pay for the weapons/ships that these buildings will need for continuous arming.

It is therefore necessary that you have a robust armaments industry that will supply these buildings and thanks to which the price of these goods will go down. Again, I do not recommend buying army goods from foreign countries as in the event of war there could be a problem with an embargo being placed on you and you will not be able to trade much in these goods. This would lead to an increase in price which you as a country will have to subsidize heavily and this will cost you a lot of money.

If you don’t supply enough raw materials you cause “shortages” that lead to economic collapses or production shutdowns. Primarily, however, this happens in conventional buildings where production stops almost immediately and people are laid off. You want to avoid this as well.

Optimizing trading routes

Another way to save money is through trade routes. The game shows you “unproductive trade routes” that cost you more money in tariffs than they generate. It might make sense to always cancel these routes so you don’t have unnecessary expenses.

But before you do, hold on. Some of the goods you supply through the market will reduce the price of the goods in your market. In my case, you can see I’m subsidizing the supply of iron from foreign countries. But on the other hand, if I didn’t import those raw materials, the price would go up and I would have to pay more for the construction, and it’s a question of what that would do to the overall cost. Therefore, unless I actually have a surplus of a given raw material and I know that the raw material is important to me, I try to maintain these trade routes.

So not every trade road is bad even if it loses. You can justify it by making a profit on something else. At the same time, I check from time to time if I have some significantly cheap raw materials so I try to offer them to the market somehow to raise their price on my market which leads to buildings being more efficient and earning more >> ie the economy runs better.

Keep an eye on Tax Waste

I didn’t follow Bureaucracy the whole time in my last game, and you can see it’s in the negative. When I took a look after a while to see what problems I’m having I found that I have +13.8% tax waste which is taxes that are going out due to corruption or lack of people. I interpret to mean I’m collecting significantly less in taxes than I could.

Lack of bureaucracy increases tax waste

The way out of this is simple. You need to increase your 📝 Bureaucracy by building more Government Administration in places where you have enough staff. Or by switching the way your Government Administration works.

Building optimization can deliver results faster than building new buildings.

As you can see above there are several ways to solve it. In my case, I lowered the Tax Waste percentage a bit (from 14% to 10%) and my total tax income went up by about 5%. You definitely want to check this number when you are solving tax problems.

Use the investment pool

When I solved the problem above, I tried to solve it using the “I’ll build a lot of Government Administration” whatever it takes approach, and then suddenly I was in an even bigger income deficit than I was before the whole event…

… you can see in the picture below how it’s going down. I have a full government queue and my income has gotten worse…

…so I’ve been researching what my income has been reduced to. And I’ve noticed a new item I hadn’t considered before, and that’s the investment pool. As you can see, I can fund various types of construction through the pool, but I can’t fund the Government Administration.

So when I decided to change my priorities and prioritize some of the buildings they write about, suddenly my income is higher and there is an entry in the income side of the budget called “Investment Pool Transfer” which helps me finance the construction of new industrial buildings.

Where this investment pool comes from and how to generate it is simple. You have to find which political party generates the bonus income for the investment pool. In this case, the members of the “industrialists” give me 10% of their income for development. And that’s why I don’t want to piss off this party.

If you want more information about investment pools
we have detailed article where we discover more informations.

Use Bankroll carefully

We all want to acquire other countries obligations – I fully understand you, but this too can be played with a bit more sense and make economic profit from it all. Unless you have a +40 relationship with the target country it’s not worth it to improve relations with that country for money. That’s why the first thing to do is to improve relations economically.

Evolution of bankroll spending in my diplomatic play.

Every country has a limit of acceptance of what you want and it can range from -50 to -100 at the beginning (even more) and by first improving your relations to -50 and then trying to get the obligations from them.

So this is kind of how it looks for me. As you can see, I try to persuade the states I have on Neutral by first improving relations and then use the bankroll to get the bond. It goes without saying that if a state is cheap to bankroll I start with that state – but there aren’t many of them.

For example, Brazil has a 12k bankroll so it is really important to think ahead when to play the bankroll correctly. Don’t pay others while you can and wait until the country you want to bankroll is at -60 to -50 before you start.

Are taxes the last way?

The first thing that may come to mind is to raise taxes or setup consumption taxes, but this is not the optimal way. Because it means that you will get less income from your pops, see picture below where taxes affect the standard of living. So it makes more sense to optimize other paths than taxes. Raise taxes as the last one.

If you have tried all the routes above and you really have nothing left to do but taxes? You could theoretically still try to reduce the cost of government or the cost of military salaries. For me, this is always the last path I choose because it affects relations with the parties.

I'm Martin, the main creator of this site. I love city builders, transport, and war strategy games. So I create this site to share my love with others! Let's make Tycoon games great again!