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Animal Crossing: City Folk – Earning Bells Guide

August 7th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Looking to earn a quick buck (or bell, in this case) in “Animal Crossing: City Folk”?  Below are some tips that helped me to pay off my entire house (all of the upgrades) in relatively short order.

Animal Crossing: City Folk (Wii)

Animal Crossing: City Folk (Wii)

1. Your native fruit (the fruit that grows in your town naturally) doesn’t sell for a lot…but foreign fruit does.  Send a letter to a fellow townsperson saying, “How are you?” Be sure to use proper grammar and attach a native fruit to the letter.  Sometimes, they’ll send foreign fruit back.  Chop down an existing tree with the axe, dig up the stump with the shovel, and plant the foreign fruit in that same location.  This will ensure that the tree will grow.  Time travel or wait a few days, shake the new foreign fruit tree, and repeat the planting process.  Once you have a town full of foreign fruit trees, you’ll rake in the dough like no one’s business as they are 500 bells a piece.

Note: Coconut trees are the exception, and must be planted about five paces from the shoreline or else they won’t grow.   Find a tree near the shore, chop it down, dig up the stump, and plant a coconut for the best results.

2. Purchase a net and go bug hunting.  I found some really expensive bugs between midnight and 3 AM during the summer months (July / August).  You may have to time travel if you’re not a night owl by nature.  The little green ones aren’t all that valuable, but the rest sell for a pretty penny.  The more valuable bugs are on coconut trees, if you can manage to grow them.  (See tip #1 for growing coconut trees)  Store the bugs in your house until it’s relatively full, then fast-forward to morning (after 9 AM) to sell them at Nook’s.

3. Some folks play the turnip game, but it’s not completely reliable.  Every Sunday between 6 AM and 12 PM, Joan will show up in your town and roam.  You can buy an unlimited amount of white turnips from her, but the price varies.  Your goal will be to buy low from her, and sell them to Tom Nook at a higher price later that week.  Tom Nook’s prices change every day, so there’s no guarantee you’ll win out in the end.  Not selling the white turnips by the following Sunday will result in them being spoiled.  Also, time travelling backward will spoil them.  Time traveling, in general, will mess up the prices and screw you over in the end.  If you time travel at all, I can’t recommend this bell-making method.

Note: Red Turnips can sometimes be purchased from Joan too, but you’re only allowed to buy one a week.  You plant it, water it every day, then sell the turnip once it’s done for a boatload of bells.  Missing a day in terms of watering it however will cause it to wither, though a gold watering can is supposedly able to revive it.

4. Fishing and foraging are okay money-makers, but the income I receive from these methods are adequate at best.  Seeing as how you don’t start out with much, this may be your goto bell-making method for a few days until you can get yourself a shovel and net from Tom Nook’s store.  Fishing can be lucrative IF you manage to catch the more expensive fish…which are pretty rare.  Fossils sell for a decent bundle, but I can usually only find two or three per day, and the amount of talking the owl Blathers does when identifying them makes the process unbearable.

5. You earn a small amount of interest if you have funds in the bank for more than a month.  Emphasis on the word “small”.  By the time you collect enough bells for it to matter, all of your loans would have been paid off.  One trick is to deposit a large sum, fast-forward time by a month, and voila!  Instant interest…though the weeds can be a chore to clean up.

6. There’s a special rock in town each day that, if hit with the shovel, dispenses money.  Before attempting to hit a rock to see if yields cash, back up against an object so the recoil doesn’t knock you out of range of the rock.  If you do find the special rock, keep hitting it with the shovel until it stops dispensing.  The more you hit the rock within the time limit, the larger the payout per hit.  For example, you’ll get 100 bells on your first hit, but 4,000 bells on the last one!  If done right, you should be able to earn about 8,000 bells, give or take.

In conclusion, I found tip #1 & #2 to be the best way to go about earning bells.  Picking foreign fruit requires multiple trips and can be monotonous, so plant them near Tom Nook’s store to cut down on travel time.  Both have the luxury of allowing you to quit when you feel like it…a half hour here, four hours there…obviously the more you grind, the richer you’ll get faster.

Thanks for reading this short guide, and happy bell…ing…belling…thingy.

You can check out my review of the game here:


  1. Iacobus
    August 7th, 2013 at 22:45 | #1

    For the money rock, face the money rock and dig a hole directly behind you. Dig a hole directly beside you. Then whack away at the rock. Profit. 😀

    (You don’t have to fill the holes back in; they’ll all fill in after you call it and put that character to rest.)

    Planting fruit trees anywhere is fine and should grow as long as you can walk completely around it.

    You can plant bags of bells for a *chance* at a tree that will yield bags instead of fruit. (One-time only; doesn’t guarantee it will actually yield bells. Believe the higher the amount planted, the less the chance.)

    • Vincent
      August 8th, 2013 at 05:34 | #2

      Why, Iac…I didn’t know there was a fellow Animal Crossing enthusiast among us! Good to know. Great tips!