Bells are the game’s currency and you’ll constantly need it to improve your life and your townspeople. The game offers several methods of acquiring bells. These include fishing, catching bugs, finding treasures, picking objects, etc.
The best way to make money is catching rare beetles in the Tropical Island, a separate area in the game. To learn how to unlock this area, refer to this guide’s Tropical Island section. Since unlocking the Tropical Island requires a significant amount of cash you have to work on, you’ll still need to resort to the basic bell-earning tasks listed below.
Shaking trees will sometimes yield 100-bell coins. You can also shake trees for them to drop fruits which you can pick up and sell to the Nookling Junction. Take note that sometimes, you’ll shake down a beehive, full of angry bees. You can run away from the bees or just get stung by it. You can then take the beehive and sell it for bells.
If you ask Isabelle for some tips, she’ll tell you to check out the beach and take a seashell as a souvenir. Do so and hand over any seashell you found to her. In return, she’ll hand some foreign fruit. It is recommended to plant these instead since once they grow into trees and bear fruits on their own, you can sell the fruits at a much higher price than the local fruit. You can also get other types of foreign fruits as gifts from the townspeople, in exchange for gifts and favors you do for them. You can also find a couple of new fruits in the Tropical Island.
Once you’ve saved enough, you can buy a fishing rod in the Nookling Junction. To use the rod, you have to hold it by selecting it from your item menu. Search the beach, stream or pond until you find a fish shadow. Lob your bait in front of it and wait for it to bite the bait. You’ll have to time it right since pulling the bait earlier will scare the fish away; pulling it later will just allow the fish to escape. There are seasonal fishes as well but you’ll be able to catch them using the Time Travel trick. (Discussed on a separate section) Be careful not to run near the water too since you can also scare fishes this way.
In case the Nookling Junction is not selling any fishing rod, you can talk to Isabelle and ask for her advice in living in the town. In one of her conversations, she’ll even give you access to acquire some items you’ll have troubles finding. The Fishing rod is included. More details in fishing will be discussed in a separate section of the guide.
Once you’ve saved enough, you can buy a net in the Nookling Junction. To use the net, you have to hold it by selecting it from your item menu. You must sneak behind the insect by pressing and holding A then release it to catch it. In case the Nookling Junction is not selling a net, you can talk to Isabelle and ask for her advice in living in the town. In one of her conversations, she’ll give you a task in recording at least 3 different types of bugs in your encyclopedia. Talk to her again and you should be able to select the option that you can’t find a net. She’ll sell you one for 500 bells.
The best place to catch bugs is in the Tropical Island. You can catch bugs there worth thousands of bells each. More of these will be discussed in the Tropical Island section of this guide.
Coins and Gems from Rocks
Using a shovel, you can hit different rocks scattered in your town. One of them may actually break, revealing a nice little gem instead.
In other times, you’ll come across a boulder that releases a bell coin when it. Continue hitting it and it will eventually throw out coin bags. Keep doing it until you can’t move it anymore.
If you have a shovel, you can also dig for fossils from small holes on the ground. You have to have the fossils identified in the Museum first. If the museum doesn’t have the type of fossil before, they’ll ask you if you want to donate it. Should you bring more fossils and Balthers found duplicates, he’ll hand you those fossils back, which you can sell for a good amount of bells.
Every Sunday, an NPC named Joan will be wandering in town. She’ll be selling turnips in bundles of 10. Her prices will change weekly. You can sell these to Re Tail. The selling price of turnips in Re Tail will change every day so you have to wait for the day where you can sell it more than what you bought it for. Turnips only last a week so make sure to clear your stocks before Re Tail closes on Saturday, 8PM.