Animal Crossing New Horizons: How to Make Bells Fast

Bells make the world of Animal Crossing: New Horizons go round so we're here to help you make lots of bells as fast as possible.

Bells make the world of Animal Crossing: New Horizons go round so we're here to help you make lots of bells as fast as possible.

Bells are the root of all evil, as they say, and Tom Nook is at the addictive center of it all. Nevertheless, you need thousands and thousands of bells to do anything worth doing in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, so knowing how to make them reliably and quickly is extremely useful.

Since Animal Crossing: New Horizons is synced to the real world time and date, that means the best way to make bells is heavily dependent on what phase of the game you’re in. We’ll separate this guide into a few sections depending on what you’ve got access to. 

How to Make Bells Fast at the Beginning in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

When you’re first starting out in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, your options are very limited for generating income. You can’t cross water, you can’t climb cliffs, you can’t visit other islands, and you don’t even have a house yet. Times are rough that first night. But if you soldier through, you’ll have a lot more options on the second day. 

Sell Fish, Bugs, Shells, and Tarantulas

Starting out the best way to make money fast is just selling anything and everything you can. Especially fish. Just make sure and grab lots of tree branches and make several fishing rods so you can fish for longer without having to make new ones.

Generally speaking, fish from the ocean are worth more than fish from the lakes and rivers, but that’s not always the case. Golden Trout are worth a lot.

Bigger fish doesn’t always mean more bells. In fact, sometimes, those big fish shadows are actually junk like tires and boots (which can be turned into clothing and furniture to, you guessed it, turn around and sell too).

Once you get a bug-catching net, though, you can start catching bugs and butterflies, too. Tarantulas especially are worth a ton. To catch one of those bad boys, you have to sneak up on it and swing your net as it lurches through the air to bite you. If it connects, you’ll pass out and reset at your house, but if you catch it, you can sell it for a few thousand bells by itself. Also keep an eye out for Emperor Butterflies.

Be sure to scrape the beaches for shells to sell, too.

The Museum

To jumpstart your progression on Day 2 — once Blathers sets up his tent and starts accepting donations to open up the museum  you’ll need to donate 15 unique bugs, fish, or fossils. So, you may want to set aside one of each unique specimen you find and just sell duplicates. 


Before the end of the first day, you can also donate creatures to Tom Nook. This is meant to entice Blathers to move there on the second day. If you do this, one of the tools you’ll earn is the Stone Axe, which can be used to hit trees for wood and hit rocks for clay, stone, and nuggets. 

All of these resources can be sold for bells, but you should save them instead for the days to come. You’ll need lots to improve the island and its infrastructure.

The Money Rock

The real benefit here is that every island has four medium-sized gray rocks within range of your starting location without the need to cross water yet. Of those four, one of them (randomly assigned) each day has the chance to spit out thousands of bells instead of resources.

We’ll call this the money rock. You need to check every rock each day to find it. When you get a shovel, you can also use the tool to dig two holes behind you as a barrier so that when you hit the rock you don’t bounce back, meaning you can hit it more quickly and get more bells.

How to Make Bells Fast After the First Day in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

After you’ve got a house on the way and have a nice collection of tools with a net, fishing pole, shovel, axe, vaulting pole, and more, your ability to explore the island and earn money increases a lot. That’s where the rest of this guide picks up. 

Dig for Bells

Once you get access to the shovel your money-making opportunities will expand a lot. While wandering the island, you’ll come across glowing spots on the ground that you can dig up to receive small sacks of bells. Easy money!

Sell Fossils

Similarly, when you see a dark X-shaped mark on the ground, this is usually a fossil. Take this to the museum to get appraised, and then sell any fossils that are duplicates of ones you’ve already donated. We recommend donating all new discoveries, though.

Bell Vouchers and Turnips 

Eventually, you’ll have a Nook’s Cranny shop on your island. Here you’ll be able to trade in Nook Miles for cash directly, which is a good way to convert the currency after you’ve spent miles on upgrades and limited-time furniture or clothing. 

Also, and perhaps more importantly, there is the Turnip Market. The market is available after you’ve built Nook’s Cranny. Every Sunday, Daisy Mae will visit with turnips. Every time you see her, the price of turnips is a fixed purchase price, and then every other day of the week Nook’s Cranny can buy turnips from you.

The catch, though, is their buy price varies. You’ll want to wait and only sell on days when they’re worth a lot more than you paid. After a week, turnips go rotten, so make sure and remember to sell!

Become an Entrepreneur

Since Animal Crossing: New Horizons embraces multiplayer more than past entries, there is potential to make money interacting with other players.

For starters, if you’ve got exotic fruits that others don’t, you could sell them to players directly by visiting them as a traveling salesperson or invite people to your island and charge a fee.

On top of that, you could sell furniture and other items you’ve built or acquired and even sell designs to players as well. 

This is still up in the air as a viable method because it hasn’t been tested much, but it’s worth a shot if you’re in desperate need. 

Those are some of the best ways to make money quickly in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Ideally, you’ll want to have made well over 100,000 bells by the end of your first couple of days, so racking up the cash quick is crucial.

While you’re here, check out some of our other guides for Animal Crossing: New Horizons:

About the author

David Jagneaux

David is the Games Editor at UploadVR, author of The Ultimate Roblox Book, and freelance writer with bylines at IGN, Forbes, PCGamer, Gamecrate, VICE, and many other places. It’s dangerous to go alone, so follow him on Twitter: @David_Jagneaux.