Bells are the in game currency for the various Animal Crossing games. They’re used to buy items for your house, clothing for your little character and somewhat more importantly, pay off your mortgage so that you get can get a bigger house! This guide was originally written as a top ten list of ways to earn bells in Animal Crossing: Let’s Go to the City, but as of 2020 has now been updated to feature EVEN MORE TIPS to help you earn bells!
(Although this list was written in 2008 with Animal Crossing: Let’s Go to the City in mind, many of the bell-making tips are applicable to other Animal Crossing games on alternate platforms including the 2020 Animal Crossing: New Horizons Nintendo Switch release.)
My Top Ten Ways to Earn Bells in Animal Crossing
#1. Shaking Empty Trees
Start every morning by shaking trees with no fruit on. Random trees will contain 100 bell coins which you can collect, up to a total of 2,500 bells. Beware of the bees though: these are hard to catch and will sting your face, costing you 400 bells to fix with medicine!
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, shaking trees can release wasps (instead of bees). Although these wasps are easier to catch than bees in previous iterations of Animal Crossing there’s still a bit of a nack to it. You can make it easier on yourself by ensuring you shake your trees with your net out. If it triggers a wasp release, your character will automatically turn to face the wasps, at which point you should be able to press A to catch the beasties. If you miss and get stung, don’t panic: pick up the wasp nest that lands on the floor underneath the tree and a few weeds to craft a medicine pack and save costs incurred buying it!
#2. Shaking Fruit Trees
When you first start out in your town, you will only have one type of fruit tree. These are your ‘native’ fruit, and are worth 100 bells each. Shake the trees to release the fruit. Fruit on your native trees regenerate after 3 days. For those of you who’ve acquired non-native fruit, these can take longer to regenerate: some sources say between 4-7 days.
#3 Banging Rocks
Each day, one random rock will contain several bags of bells and coins that you can collect. To get the money (bells), move next to the rock. Start by digging two holes with your shovel: one directly behind where your character is standing, and one below, as per the diagram:
Once the holes have been dug, bash the rock as quickly as you can with the shovel until every space around the block has a bell bag or coin on it. These will earn you a nice 8,500 bells!
(This isn’t the most efficient rock positioning – the guide will be updated in due course with a clearer rock-banging image)
#4 Fossil Finding
Before you put away that shovel, why not go on a bit of a fossil hunt? Each day, there are 3 fossils to be found in your Animal Crossing town. These can be spotted by way of a small “X”-shaped crack in the ground. Dig up the fossil and take it to Blathers to be identified. You can then choose to sell the fossil to Nook for big bells, or donate it to the museum (but donating doesn’t earn you money!)
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you can find up to 4 fossils a day, and further fossils on “Nook Miles” islands.
#5 Go Fish
Fishing has two benefits. 1) you can fill your museum with nice things to look at; more importantly, #2) you can earn lots and lots of bells. The more rare a fish is, the more bells it is worth.
The quickest way to fish in Animal Crossing: Let’s Go to the City is to take out your fishing rod, and use the C button on top of the nunchuck to throw in the bait. As soon as the fish pulls it down under the water (it will make a “sploosh!” sound) press the button again to pull up the rod, complete with tasty fish.
#6 Have a Bug Hunt
During the Spring, Summer and Autumn months bug-hunting can be very productive. Rare and beautiful bugs and butterflies can be found around the town which, when caught with your Net, can be sold for a small sum to Nook. In the Winter, bugs are much harder to find. However, all is not lost; keep your ears out for Mole Crickets in the ground which can be dug up with your shovel, and Pill Bugs hiding under rocks (bash the rock with your shovel).
#7 Become a Farmer
On a Sunday, Joan the turnip seller comes to town. If you are willing to hand over 1,000 bells she’ll provide you with a Red Turnip Seed. If you plant this seed on the Sunday, and water it every day until the following Saturday, you can dig it up and sell the big fat red turn for 16,000 bells! Be warned though: if you forget to water the red turnip it will rot.
#8 Dabble in Stalks (Stocks)
While Joan is in town, think about buying some white turnips off her. These can be sold Monday-Saturday the following week to Nook. White Turnip re-sale price varies day by day; just ask Nook for his current turnip prices. Note: there is no guarantee you will make a profit with white turnips, so best not to buy if they’re priced too high.
#9 Finders Keepers
Be sure to check with Booker at the town gate every day to see if anyone has lost anything of value. Almost everything can be resold for a small profit.
#10 Recycle? Sure!
Go green and regularly check the recycling bin in the Town Hall — especially before it gets emptied at 6am on Mondays and Thursdays — as you may find rare or expensive furniture and other goodies that you can sell to Nook.
Still Stuck on Animal Crossing?
The official Animal Crossing: City Folk / Animal Crossing: Let’s Go to the City guide books (by Prima Games) contain information on special events, full item lists (including furniture), neighbour’s birthdays, how to feng shui and other vital game information.
Available in all good book shops, or online via Amazon.co.uk.
User Submitted Tips for Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Find the glowing hole
Dig the glowing hole for 1,000. Bury a bag of bells up to 10,000 in the glowing hole and a tree will return a 3x investment in three days.
Craft & sell the Hot Item
Making the hot item of the day
It changes every day! You get double bells for it