The place where you either gloat over the large sum of money you're earning, or where you rage and despair because the ledger is full of red numbers. Manage your affairs well, and you'll never see those red numbers appear.
The Treasury screen is where you can find a summary of your House finances. You should consult this screen regularly, to determine what you can afford to do in each game month, and to keep an eye on your costs. The galactic currency is the Solar ($).
Each House begins the game with a treasury of at least $10,000 (more in well-established galaxies). This is enough to pay for maintenance of your operations for the first month and to build one or two additional facilities, so that you can generate enough income to balance your outgoings.
It is strongly recommended that all players retain a balance of over $1000 at all times, to prevent any sudden unexpected cost or income fluctuations driving a House into bankruptcy!
Financial updates occur on a daily basis. On the first day of each new month (see the calendar) your total costs and income are applied to your balance, and the new balance carried forward into the next month. During any given month, you can see from the Treasury screen a running total of your currently accrued income and costs for each activity, and a projection of the total income or outlay that will be applied to your balance at the end of the current month. This projection is approximate, since numerous factors can result in small changes to your costs and income, and so you should be careful when planning expenditure if your projected balance is close to zero - should you unintentionally fall into the red you may go bankrupt and lose everything (see below).
Income and Costs are broken down into individual items, so you can see exactly where your money is coming from and going to. There are several set monthly costs, some of which are listed below:
Apart from variable regular maintenance costs such as these, you will also incur one-time costs for building new facilities, creating new military Units, and numerous other activities, from funding space piracy to paying the dowry for a noble marriage.
Turning to income, the majority should come from profitable facilities that you have constructed. Income is broken down according to the Sphere of Activity of each facility. Individual facility profitability can be viewed from the Facility Management Screen for that Sphere, accessed from your HQ screen. You can also gain income from other sources, such as gifts. All profits from facility operations are taxed by the Emperor at a standard rate. This can vary over time according to the will of the Emperor and the Senate. The Emperor is charged with using this money to combat piracy and Renegade houses, and to maintain peace and order throughout the galaxy.
It is important to bear in mind that your relative level of technological advancement affects both your profits and costs. The further ahead you are of others in your galaxy in technological terms, the more your profits will be boosted, but your costs will also be correspondingly higher. See the Technology section for more information.
You should keep a close eye on the 'Projected Closing Balance' figure at the bottom of the screen. If this is less than your 'Monthly Opening Balance' figure, then you are losing money and need to either cut costs or generate more profit! At the start of play this will be the case, so your first action should be to build a facility or two in order to begin to generate profits. Diligent research will of course assist you in the decision as to which facilities to build and where.
It is, however, also worth bearing in mind that inflation and other factors will result in a depreciation of your cash reserves by 3% per game month. For this reason it is best not to sit on a very large end-of-month balance, once you are in the enviable position of being able to amass great wealth. Instead, consider commencing operations in the Financial sphere, and loaning out your excess funds - or simply use the 'gift/tribute' function to help those less well-off than yourself!
If you have been in the game for a month or more real-time, you may access the 'Gifts/Tributes' screen. This enables you to pay money to another House for whatever reason - gifts, blackmail, bribery, or payment for services rendered. You cannot pay the same House more than once per game month.
You may also take out loans, either from the Imperial Bank (the Emperor) or from another player operating in the Financial sphere. Interest rates are normally high and so this is not a good idea unless you are desperate. The total amount you may borrow is determined by your credit rating, as follows:
You will begin with a credit rating of 'D', and gain in credit rating as your status reaches new levels. Rating 'X' is reserved for those who have defaulted on previous loans (and lived to tell the tale…). Your credit rating and outstanding loans are visible at the top right of the Treasury page. Click on the 'Loans' link to access further details of your existing loans, and arrange new ones.
From the 'Loans' page you can see all loans available to you as well as any loans you have already taken out and their due date. Loans are not repaid incrementally, but in full upon completion of the loan period. At this time your loan plus total interest will be repaid automatically providing you have enough funds in your treasury to do so. You can of course take out an additional loan in order to repay the first one, as long as your total debt does not exceed the totals listed above. You may repay a loan early if your treasury allows it by clicking the 'Repay' link beside each loan. In this case the amount repaid includes the full interest amount even if the loan did not proceed to its full term. You may also choose to deliberately withhold a loan repayment by checking the box against each loan.
Should you fail to repay a loan at the due date, for whatever reason, the House that lent you the money will accrue Feud Score against you, as will the Emperor and all allied Houses. This situation is highly likely to lead to the downfall of your House, and so should be avoided!
Should your maintenance costs take your monthly balance below zero, you will automatically take out any available loans to cover the deficit. If there are no loans available, or if you have already borrowed the maximum allowed and your balance falls below zero, you will be declared bankrupt and your existing facilities, military units, spies and so on will be subject to liquidation one by one in order to recover the deficit. Your balance will be reset to $5000.00, with all remaining loans canceled. Any Houses who lent you money will accrue Feud Score against you as if you had deliberately withheld the repayment, as above. Most of your expenditures (e.g. tech research and so on) will be reset to the lowest level automatically. You will also take a large drop in Status and your credit rating will be set to 'X', preventing you from borrowing again. Needless to say, you do not want this to happen, not least because the actual money recovered from dismantled facilities to balance your debts is only one third of the original build cost.
as seen in the Rulebook
The projected income of your treasury screen is never 100% accurate. Also note that if any significant budgetary changes are made, the projection won't completely recalculate until the next game day. Projected income is also effected by a certain percentage of random income and maintenance that all facilities are subject to. If you house is running on very small margins (costs are very close to profits), then you may notice very large up and down swings of projected profit.
Major issues for projected income occur on the first day of the month when you have Mysticism as a sphere, or if you have previously been Emperor and dealing with Agriculture taxes and subsidies. Mysticism especially will not be calculated at the start of the month, and will accrue over time later on. If you are operating this sphere, you're better off checking the previous month's income on the first of each new month. The issue with agriculture taxes/subsidies may have to do with the game saving tax income as a regular field, and then displaying it even after a house has passed the Emperor title to another.
A house that has been in operations for at least 1 real-time month can send gifts to other houses. This amount is limited to 25,000 solars. The amount of solars transferable can be doubled by using a financial subsidy agreement. To be able to transfer more money than 50k a month, you have to start utilizing other methods, such as by sending the money to a third house, which will then send it to the original recipient house, or by utilizing loan and donation features of the Financial and Mysticism spheres.
Canceling a transport or mercantile route will often cause your projected income for that sphere to unjustifiably rise, rather than fall. The balance will be corrected by the beginning of the next day when the game recalculates projected income.
The limits on lending are heavily underestimating the money actually needed by small houses, and the credit ratings do not fit the crrent economy of the game. The credit limits make this function essentially useless. you can, however, use this function to transfer large sums of money outside the tribute function - see the notes on the Treasury.