Animal Crossing: New Horizons has two types of currency, and each one is earned through a variety of gameplay activities. Bells in Animal Crossing are the closest analog to money, since you need them to buy items and upgrade your house, while Nook Miles are a secondary currency you can use to order items like furniture and clothes, and travel to deserted islands. Since there are two currencies, there are a lot of ways to make money in Animal Crossing.
How To Make Bells in Animal Crossing
If you want to make money in Animal Crossing, the currency you probably want to earn is Bells. This is the currency Tom Nook requires if you want to upgrade your house, and it's also used to purchase lots for new villagers, build infrastructure like bridges and ramps, and buy a variety of items like furniture, tools, and seeds.
Here are all the best ways to make Bells in Animal Crossing.
Catch Fish and Bugs To Sell
When you're first starting out, one of the best ways to earn Bells is to catch and sell fish and bugs. Bugs are caught with the net tool, while fish are caught with the fishing pole. Make sure to donate new fish and bugs to the museum, but duplicates of ones you've already donated can be sold for a decent amount of Bells. If you sell a tarantula, for example, you'll get 8,000 Bells.
Grow and Harvest Fruit To Sell
The other primary source of income in the early game is harvesting and selling fruit. Your island comes with native fruit trees, and you'll also receive a second kind of fruit in the mail early on. Dig a hole, plant a fruit, and it will grow into a new tree.
Fruit that isn't native to your island sells for more, and you can sell your native fruit for more if you take it to a friend's island. Focus on growing non-native fruit on your island, and stockpile your native fruit to sell if you have friends in Animal Crossing whose islands you can visit.
Dig Up and Sell Duplicate Fossils
You'll receive your first shovel after Blathers brings his museum to the island, at which point you'll start to notice star-shaped cracks in the ground each day. Dig at those locations, and you'll find fossils. Blathers will identify these fossils for you, and you can donate them to the museum. If you find a duplicate of a fossil, take it to Nook's Cranny and sell it for a nice windfall of Bells.
Craft and Sell the Hot Item
After you build Nook's Cranny, you'll find there are new “hot items” every day. Craft the hot item, and you can sell it for twice the normal price. If you get lucky and have a hot item that's easy to craft, you can make Bells very fast.
Don't Use the Drop Box
Animal Crossing provides you with a convenient drop box that allows you to sell items during the night hours when the store isn't open. If you're trying to maximize your Bell earnings, don't use the drop box, as it doesn't pay as much as selling normally. If your inventory fills up at night, you can just drop items on the ground near the store or in any other convenient location to sell during the day.
Sell To Flick and C.J.
If you don't mind waiting, stockpile your bugs and fish instead of selling them right away. From time to time, your island will be visited by a bug-enthusiast named Flick, and a fishing fanatic named C.J. Flick will pay you 1.5 times more Bells than normal for your bugs, and C.J. will pay a premium of 1.5 times as many Bells for your fish.
Find the Money Rock
Every day, one of the rocks on your island will be designated as the money rock. Hit this rock with your shovel, and Bells will pop out. If you stand at one corner of the rock and dig holes behind and above you, you can avoid the knockback that normally occurs when striking a rock. This allows you to earn the maximum amount of Bells from your money rock each day.
Deposit Your Bells
When you have more than 99,999 Bells, additional Bells will show up in your inventory as money bags. You can drop these on the ground in your house if you want, but depositing them at the Nook Stop machine is a much better idea. You can withdraw your savings whenever you want, but your Bells will earn interest when they are deposited in your account. You'll find interest payments in your mailbox periodically, and the amount you earn grows as you deposit more Bells.
Grow Money Trees
Each day, you'll find a glowing spot on the ground somewhere on your island. If you dig at that location, you'll find a small sack of Bells. You can then bury a sack of Bells in the same hole, and a money tree will sprout. When it matures, you'll be able to harvest three times the amount of Bells you planted.
To play it safe, only bury 10,000 Bells. If you want to be risky, plant 30,000 Bells. If you plant more than that, there's a 70 percent chance the tree will only yield three bags of 10,000 Bells each, so 10,000 Bells guarantees a profit and 30,000 Bells guarantees you will break even at worst.
Play the Turnip Market
Once you successfully build Nook's Cranny, the turnip market will become available. Each Sunday, from 5AM to 12PM, a pig named Daisy Mae will visit your island. If you talk to her, you'll have the opportunity to buy turnips. You can then sell the turnips at Nook's Cranny from Monday through Saturday, potentially earning a lot of Bells.
Turnips rot and become worthless if you don't sell them during the week they are bought, and they can also rot if you alter the clock on your Switch to time travel. To maximize the chances of earning a big profit, check to see if your friends have good turnip prices, or look online for people who are willing to share access to their islands.
Travel To Desert Islands
You can use Nook Miles to buy vouchers to fly to desert islands. This is a good way to meet new villagers if you have space on your island, but you can also dig up a bunch of resources to sell at home. Eat fruit and then dig up trees, and you can either sell them for quick Bells or plant them at home to have instantly mature fruit trees. Sometimes, you'll even find an island with non-native fruit trees, or an island full of money rocks.
Buy Bell Vouchers
If you've earned so many Nook Miles you don't know what to do with them, then you can spend them on Bell vouchers. Just use the Nook Stop machine, and you can buy as many vouchers as you like. Each voucher costs 500 Nook miles, and you can sell them at Nook's Cranny for 3,000 Bells each.
How To Earn Nook Miles in Animal Crossing
The secondary currency in Animal Crossing is Nook Miles. Unlike Bells, which are earned by selling things or just finding Bells in the wild, Nook Miles are earned by performing specific tasks in the game. There are a bunch of milestones that award you with Nook Miles, and you can also earn them by performing specific tasks which change each day and refresh when you complete them.
Here's how to earn Nook Miles in Animal Crossing:
Use the Nook Stop Terminal at Resident Services
Every day, you'll earn a Nook Miles bonus the first time you interact with the Nook Stop machine. If you do it every day, the amount will increase. The first time you interact, you'll receive 50 Nook Miles. The seventh consecutive day, and every consecutive day after that, you'll earn 300 miles. If you ever miss a day, it resets to 50 Nook Miles.
Earn Nook Miles From Tasks
Once you've unlocked the Nook Phone and the Nook Miles+ app, you'll always have access to a list of tasks you can perform to earn Nook Miles. The first five tasks each day provide a big bonus, so make sure to do those at the very least. Completed tasks are replaced with new ones though, so you can just keep on earning.
Earn Nook Miles From Milestones
In addition to tasks, you can also earn Nook Miles by completing challenges. The game starts out with just a handful of challenges available, like catching a certain number of fish or catching a certain number of bugs, but more become available as you play.
When you complete a task, it will display a Get Miles! Banner, and you can press the A button to claim a nice chunk of Bells. Each task category has a number of milestones, but you can only complete each milestone, and claim the miles, one time. Some of these milestones take quite a bit of time and effort, so you'll have to play a long time to claim them all.