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'Animal Crossing: New Horizons': The easiest and quickest ways to pay off loans

As much as we might want to believe in an altruistic version of the universe, cash still rules everything around you in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. In fact, you're in debt from the moment you set foot on your new island home, with most of your earnings after starting your idyllic island life going to your new raccoon overlord, Tom Nook. Money — or bells as it's known in the Animal Crossing universe — will unlock important new features, abilities, and other goodies for you. You've just got to be sure you're making bells faster than you're spending them. There are plenty of ways to generate revenue in New Horizons, including selling fruit or the fish you catch from day to day. But what are some of the fastest, most effective ways to earn bells? Here are some methods you shouldn't sleep on, especially if you're like us and trying to make a fortune over a few short days.

Find and sell daily Hot Items at Nook's Cranny

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As you earn additional bells and expand your island in New Horizons, you'll eventually find that the Nook family has opened up the Nook's Cranny store. These mischievous raccoons will feature one item per day to list as a "Hot Item." If you find and sell this item, you'll get double the bells for your trouble. If you collect a wide number of items and hold onto them for a while, this is a good and risk-free way to eventually earn a tidy sum. The item is selected at random and will change every day, so just keep checking back for ways you can "help" the Nooks... to give you cash.

Become an archaeologist and sell fossils

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Just like you can sell fruit, bugs, and fish, you can also find fossils across the island. When you pick some up of course be sure to donate it to the museum like you would any type of "critter" or item. But then you should absolutely sell your doubles. They're worth a respectable amount of bells, and you can dig and dig away all day to find some good ones to sell off. You'll be on your way to a fortune in no time.

Sell sea shells by the sea shore

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Okay, technically you don't need to sell your shells right by the shore, but gathering up the shells you see on the beach will net you some decent cash as well. Sometimes, you'll stumble upon some pretty awesome finds, but even the more pedestrian shells are worth the effort.

Seek out the money rock in your island

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Every day, you should be hitting the rocks across your island home with a shovel. Stay with us, there's a reason for this. Usually, doing so will reward you with resources you need to use for crafting. Sometimes, however, you'll find a special rock that you can strike over and over to earn bells from. You can get over 16,000 bells just by striking it over and over, and this can happen once per day. As you can imagine, this could lead to plenty of cash earned in a very expeditious manner.

Play the stalk market

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The stalk market is a clever way of saying "stock market," of course, but it's a viable way to make some extra bells that relies on you making smart investments. Every week, an animal named Daisy Mae will travel to your island. She will bring several turnips with her, which you'll buy at a variety of different prices over time. You can purchase as many turnips as you please to turn around and sell them back to the Nook clan at prices that can sometimes net you major profits. You'll have to remain vigilant about the prices you pay and your returns to make any sort of real fortune this way, but it's the quickest way to take the bells you have and turn them into a tidy sum.

Go fishing

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Fishing is one of the most fulfilling activities in the whole of Animal Crossing, but it's also rewarding in monetary ways. You can earn a ridiculous amount of bells just by spending time by the water around your island, casting a line out, and waiting for the fish to bite. There's no limit to how many fish you can catch and sell, so as long as you have an open inventory, you can fill it up and reap the rewards. Just keep fishing, selling, and doing it over again and you'll have fetched a very respectable amount of cash soon enough.

Go bug catching

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There's a ton of bugs that can be found around your island, ranging from creepy-crawly beetles to majestic moths. All you need is a net to catch them, and then they can be sold to the Nooks at Residential Services and Nook's Cranny. But be sure you also take one type of each bug to your museum to grow your collection, too. It will pay off in the end with more than bells since you'll have a nice, well-rounded cache of bugs to check out with the other critters you've discovered.

Now that you're armed with the proper knowledge to get out there and start hitting it big with bells, go forth and make your island home the most ornate one it can be. There's a lot of opportunities out there for you to start swimming in cash. Don't stay indebted to Tom Nook forever.