Animal Crossing: New Horizons — How to make money fast!

Animal Crossing New Horizons Make Money Fast
Animal Crossing New Horizons Make Money Fast (Image credit: iMore)

When you first start on your Animal Crossing: New Horizons deserted island, all you have is a tent, a cot, a radio, a lamp, and a NookPhone. There aren't any buildings or any easy paths to get you to the far reaches of your island. If you want to turn this beautiful location into the perfect tropical getaway, you're going to need plenty of Bells. Fortunately, in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, money does grow on trees, and there are several quick ways to enlarge your wallet. Here are some tips for earning tons of Bells quickly.

Go the extra mile

New Horizons - NookMiles

New Horizons - NookMiles (Image credit: Nintendo)

As part of the Nook Getaway Package, players can repay their loan with Nook Miles as well as with Bells. Luckily for you, it's easy to earn Nook Miles, especially at the start of the game. There are a lot of simple tasks like taking a photo, writing on the board, or putting something in your house, that will help you earn Nook Miles and get you closer to paying off your loan.

Once you've paid off your initial move-in fees, you'll get access to Nook Miles+ tasks, a series of easy, constantly rotating challenges that will let you rack up Nook Miles even faster. Once you've upgraded Resident Services to a building, you can spend 500 Miles at the Nook Stop kiosk inside to buy a Bell voucher. It will be issued immediately, and you can then take it over to Nook's Cranny to sell it for 3,000 Bells.

Weed the island

Animal Crossing New Horizons Make Money Fast

Animal Crossing New Horizons Make Money Fast (Image credit: iMore)

When you first start, your island will be covered in weeds. Fortunately, cleaning them up will get you a decent amount of money. Run to Resident Services and talk to Timmy. He'll give you 990 Bells for every 99 weeds you pull.

Simply smashing

Animal Crossing New Horizons Make Money Fast Money Tree

Animal Crossing New Horizons Make Money Fast Money Tree (Image credit: iMore)

You'll find plenty of rocks around your island. If you use a shovel or ax to wack at them, Bells might pop out. Otherwise, you'll get stones, clay, iron, or gold. Bugs hiding under the rock might pop out too, which you can catch with your net. Make sure to save 30 iron nuggets to build Nook's Cranny but you can sell the rest. Increase your chances of getting eight items from rocks by using the Rock Trick.

Shake it like a polaroid picture

Animal Crossing New Horizons Make Money Fast

Animal Crossing New Horizons Make Money Fast (Image credit: iMore)

In addition to fruit, you'll find that there are coins and items hidden in the trees around your island. Simply go up to the trunk and press the A button on your Switch, and then your character will shake a tree lodging anything in the treetops loose. If you're lucky, something rare will fall out. If nothing else, you can always gather up all of those fruits and sell them at Resident Services.

Gotta catch 'em all!

Animal Crossing New Horizons Make Money Fast (Image credit: iMore)

Animal Crossing New Horizons Make Money Fast (Image credit: iMore)

Source: iMore

There are plenty of bugs inhabiting your island. As in real life, some of them only appear at night. Take the opportunity to run around and catch as many bugs as possible. You can get a decent amount of Bells when you sell them.

Butterflies are the easiest to catch, but most of them don't give you that much money. But every little bit helps. To make some cash, you'll need to be more careful and sneak up on the other insects that are quick to run away. Just be cautious around wasps, scorpions, and spiders as these creepy crawlies can hurt you. That's probably why you can get a ton of Bells from selling them. Try shaking trees with your net equipped to lessen the chances of getting stung by wasps.

Catch of the day

Animal Crossing New Horizons Make Money Fast

Animal Crossing New Horizons Make Money Fast (Image credit: iMore)

You'll find plenty of fish swimming around your island, whether it's in the ocean or one of the rivers. If you happen to catch one of the rarer fish, you can really turn a profit from it when you go to sell. Spend some time fishing every day and see if you get lucky. If nothing else, all the money you earn from catching more common fish can quickly add up. To help, we've made a list of the most valuable fish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

You're more likely to come upon a rare fish if you cast your line into the water while it's raining. For that reason, it's a good idea to drop what you're doing and spend some time gazing at the water whenever water falls from the sky. Some of the rarest fish are worth thousands of Bells, like the Coelacanth, which can be sold for 15,000 Bells.

Just keep swimming

Animal Crossing New Horizons Swimming

Animal Crossing New Horizons Swimming (Image credit: Nintendo)

After it was added in the 2020 Summer update, players could comb the ocean floor for all sorts of crawly deep sea creatures. Getting a wetsuit is pretty easy; you can redeem some Nook Miles for one, purchase one in the Nook Shopping app, or buy it directly from Timmy and Tommy.

Just like bugs and fish, sea creatures can sell for a pretty penny if you know what you're doing. Deep sea creatures caught while diving can be sold for anything between 500 and 15,000 Bells! You'll want to put on your snorkeling mask quickly if you're looking to make some money early on in the game. Well... a snorkeling mask isn't required for swimming in Animal Crossing, but you'll certainly look cool doing it!

Money does grow on trees

If you happen to come across a glimmering spot of ground while running around town, you can use your shovel to dig in that spot and find 1,000 Bells. While you can just pocket the money, you can also get way more if you're patient.

Select the bag of Bells from your inventory and choose to bury it back into the ground. Note, that you can bury up to 10,000 Bells in one of these unique holes. Upon burying the bag, a sapling will appear. Leave the sapling alone for several days. If you need to move the tree, dig up the sapling and re-plant it elsewhere.

Eventually, it will grow into a tree and drop three Bell bags. Note that a new money tree glimmer spot appears on your island every day. You can have multiple money trees growing at one time, so you'll definitely want to be on the lookout for these shining spots.

Buy low, sell high

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Image credit: iMore)

You can make or lose huge amounts of Bells by playing the stalk market. Every Sunday between 5 a.m. and noon, Daisy Mae will show up somewhere on your island and offer to sell you turnips. Her prices will vary week to week between about 90 and 110 Bells, so try to buy when they're on the low side. Stock up on as many as you can afford. Keep in mind, you can't keep them in your house storage, so you'll need a place to dump them. Otherwise, you'll be carrying them around in your pockets.

Timmy and Tommy won't buy turnips on Sunday, but after that, they'll offer varying prices throughout the week. Check back in regularly and wait for the price to be more than what you bought them for and then unload your turnips and make a big profit. Just don't hold onto them too long because if it gets back to Sunday, they'll all rot and become worthless.

Old money

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Image credit: iMore)

Fossils are another collectible you can add to your museum. Up to four fossils spawn each day, but if you miss a day, no more than six fossil spots can be on the island. These dig spots can be identified by a brown star shape on the ground. Whenever you dig up a new fossil, bring it straight to Blathers and donate it to the museum like the kind citizen you are.

However, Blathers won't take duplicates. What do you do with all of these doubles? Well, sell them of course! Fossils can be sold to Timmy and Tommy for anywhere between 1,000 and 6,000 Bells. Of course, you should always let Blathers identify fossils for you before you sell them. That way, you'll know which ones you've already donated.

Ring in the Bells!

At its core, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is all about earning money to pay off your loan and build your perfect life. There are plenty of things you can do to quickly earn Nook Miles or Bells as you go about your island. Good luck crafting the perfect getaway. I hope you're able to find the rarest creatures and build the home of your dreams in one of the best Nintendo Switch games.

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.