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How to Make Money Fast on Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Island life similar to real life, comes with demands and responsibilities and unfortunately, isn’t free. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you may have Tom Nook breathing down your neck or turn up on your doorstep (surprise!) looking to collect on your mortgage repayment just as you need to upgrade your tent or you want to replace a missing tool. As we like to help our readers out, we’ve come up with this guide to help you make island cash (ie bells) and fast. So read on and get ready to become the richest islander.



How to Earn Money Early on in The Game

Earning money early on in the game is important to get yourself established and to be able to buy all the tools and equipment you’ll need to get life going. If you’re a newbie to the game, you’ll need to earn Nook Miles as well in order to repay your moving costs loan (from Tom Nook) but this can easily be achieved at the same time as earning bells (currency on Animal Crossing) by simply playing the game.

We advise you try to pay off your moving costs (around 5,000 Nook miles) as early as possible, because once you’ve paid them off, you’ll unlock a host of new options including taking out a loan to upgrade from a tent to a house, Nook miles rewards and Nook Miles+.

Below is a list of tips to get started and make the most of your money early on:

  • Pull Weeds: Pulling weeds can be lucrative early on, especially while getting your bearings and when you may not have ample time to sit around fishing all day. You should leave some bigger ones though that grow dandelions as you can sell these for Nook miles or you can craft them into a leaf umbrella (no tools required) and make 300 bells upfront!
  • Gifts in the sky: During the course of the game, you may hear a high pitched whistling sound which indicates that a balloon is floating by. This balloon is a present and may contain anything from clothing, furniture or DIY recipes to 30,000 bells! Make sure you shoot it down with your slingshot.
  • Deserted Island Ticket: When you start the game,Tom will give you a "Deserted Island trip" ticket which is valued at 2,000 Nook miles. Although tempting, don’t use it just yet. Wait until you have unlocked the expanded pocket space via the Nooks miles reward. Whenever you travel to another island, you’ll want to bring back their native fruits and fish etc as they’re much rarer and therefore worth far more on your home island. You’ll want to take home as much as possible!
  • Gifts from Mom: Your Mom will sometimes mail you gifts (as Mom’s do) including non-native fruit. For the same reasons we just mentioned above, do not sell this fruit. Although it will make you some nice cash upfront, it will make you a lot more after you’ve planted it and have a tree that is constantly producing rare fruit for you to sell (at around 500 a piece!).
  • Plant Bells: If you’ve managed to save some bells at this point, withdraw around 10,000 from the bank and move them into your pocket. Open your pockets (X) and select your money (your 10,000 bells). This transforms them into an item you can plant and will grow into a money tree which will produce even more bells in the future.

General Money Making Tips

Once you’re established in the game and have a bit of know-how, it’s worth checking out the following tips in order to maximise your cash and really get ahead:
  • Bring a new tree back: Once you’ve decided to use your deserted island trip ticket, you will find foreign fruit and trees on the island you choose to visit. Instead of just shaking the tree for fruit, eat a piece of fruit and dig up the entire tree. This will provide immediate turnover when you bring the tree back and plant it and you can use the fruit from that tree to plant even more-no need to wait for the first tree to grow from scratch. Before you know it, you’ll have an entire orchard of foreign beauties.
  • Don’t sell all your new fruit: For the reasons listed above, we cannot stress this enough. Keep some of the foreign fruit you receive or find and grow them into trees. In this case, we guarantee the investment will pay off!
  • Prioritise fishing over bug catching: if you’re strapped for cash, invest your time in fishing rather than bug catching. There’s a greater chance you will catch a high value fish than catching a valuable insect. The following fish are all worth a lot of bells: Koi(rare, but obtainable), Golden Trout (rare), Pike, Cherry, Salmon, Bitterling, Sea Butterfly, Red Snapper, Olive Flounder, Football Fish, Oarfish (rare), Coelacanth (rare).


  • Save your turnips and play Sow Joan’s Stalk Market: Once you’ve unlocked Nook’s Cranny in the game, Joan’s relative Daisy Mae will start visiting you on Sundays. She sells turnips and you’ll want to snap them up as they are like gold dust to be traded on the stock market. They go bad after a week though so you might want to resell them at the best possible price within that time frame, but when you sell is entirely up to you. There are different rates depending on the day, but we hear that Turnip rates are at their highest on Tuesdays!


For even more general gaming and money making tips and tricks, check out this article on Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Image: © Nintendo
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