Tom Nook, you are the bane of fun. If it weren’t for you and your loans, my village would be quite a happening place. But sadly, we’re all slaves to your mortgages. There’s no need to worry though, because I’m here to give you some tips and tricks to make paying off those loans even easier.
You’ve just moved in, and you’re stuck with this cramped house that would make a 200-square-foot studio in New York City look like a mansion. Obviously, you’d like to upgrade as soon as possible. Thankfully, that’s a very realistic situation. Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to make some easy money despite limited options.
First and foremost, there are trees. No, not the trees themselves, but the goodies that could be hidden in them. Every day, seven non-fruit trees will spawn items: five beehives and two pieces of furniture. While the furniture seems to be more lucrative, it needs to be noted that the beehives will sell for 500 gold a piece at Re-Tail. Speaking of Re-Tail, always sell your goods there. Not only will they pay top dollar, they’ll also have a special item available for a premium every day.
Trees aren’t the only objects that hide goodies. Rocks will spawn moneymakers as well. Every day, two rocks will contain hidden goods: a total of 1,600 Bells and a mineral. The mineral is hidden in a rock and only obtainable by smashing the rock with a shovel. In order to get the Bells, you’ll need to hit the rock with your shovel in a certain amount of time; the timer doesn’t begin until the first hit, so you don’t need to wake up at 5 a.m. to get the cash.
You may need to get up early to catch the best bugs and fish, though. While you can make some spare change during the day, the prime hunting time is going to be early morning or late at night. The latter is a better option for me personally due to my night owl-like sleeping schedule. Of course, there’s a catch: the rarer bugs don’t like movement of any kind; it’s like they’re allergic or something. Patience will be key here. It’s better to slowly walk up to a giant stag on a tree than run and risk scaring them away.
Of course, there’s always the option to sell the fossils you find in the ground. If you’re someone who likes to fill out your museum, this will put you at a disadvantage. Personally, I keep my fossils and have them donated while selling off fish/bugs. Ultimately, it depends on your play style.
Finally, there’s fruit. As franchise veterans are aware of, non-local fruit will sell at a higher price than premium fruit. There are two ways to acquire the exotic fruit: visit a friend’s town or pick some up from Isabelle, your secretary. While asking for advice, Isabelle mentioned to me that she wished she had time to visit the beach and get a seashell. Being the nice mayor that I am, I ventured to the shore and got her a seashell. I was rewarded with a basket of pears (oranges are my local fruit) and promptly planted them.
An Island Adventure
The big moneymaker in Animal Crossing: New Leaf is going to be the tropical island you can visit. Remember when I said that the prime fish/insects come out at night? The island is a perfect example of this. After midnight, stags and sharks make their appearance, bringing in hundreds of thousands of Bells when you sell them the next morning at Re-Tail. The sharks are indicated by their fins sticking out of the water, so you won’t need to mess with the risk of catching a less expensive fish. Bugs, however, are a trickier prospect. The stags are going to be your big moneymakers here, but they’re extremely fearful of sudden movement. Often, I found the best strategy is to inch across the island to avoid scaring them away. It’s a meticulous job, but very profitable.
There are a couple things that I need to say about the island. First, it’s locked until you get your house’s first upgrade. Second, it costs 1,000 Bells to make a round trip. The haul is well worth the price of admission, but it still needs to be said. While you can’t bring any of your items to the island, a gyroid will give you needed materials to catch bugs and fish. Finally, you’re limited in what you can bring back to the village. In order to carry all of the expensive bugs and fish, you’ll need to store them in the bin next to the island’s reception desk. Space is limited, so make sure you get the best of the best. There is a merchant available at the island, but the buying price is far from worth it. Bring them back to the village and sell them at Re-Tail.
Doesn’t All Of This Cheapen The Game?
Some will view these moneymaking tricks as “cheapening the game experience.” Yes, it does make it incredibly easy to upgrade my house, but look at it this way: There’s a lot to do in Animal Crossing: New Leaf. In addition to pimping your house, there are plenty of public work projects that can be built, ordinances that can be enacted with a 20,000 Bell fee, and a museum that needs to be filled. Think of these tips as speeding up New Leaf’s “early game,” so you can enjoy all of the content that’s offered.
Trust me, there’s a lot to see. Now make some Bells and enjoy the game!