How to make millions from Animal Crossing money trees with time travel


Turns out, in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, money, or Bells — and lots of it ⁠— really do grow on trees. In fact, you can even wipe away your mountain of debts to Tom Nook with one simple time-bending trick.

Money trees have long been a part of the Animal Crossing franchise. It came as no surprise that the newest entry, New Horizons, saw the glorious return of the rare bell-making scheme that defies the age-old saying “money doesn’t grow on trees.”

For most, planting their 10,000 bells and digging up three times that amount days later is second nature in New Horizons. It’s an easy way to make a little extra cash, and finance that much-needed extra bridge. But you can dream even bigger still.

Article continues after ad


How to grow money trees

Here are the basics: every day there will be a glowing spot hidden somewhere on your island. Dig it up to find some bells ⁠— often just 1,000 ⁠— but don’t fill the hole in! Instead, bury 10k bells in this new hole, and you’re well on your way.

How long does it take for money trees to grow?

A few days later, your tree will be fully grown, and you can snag a whopping 30k bells for your efforts. But what if you could reliably turn your simple 30k money tree into a 100k money tree without the fear of losing bells? Here’s how.

Money trees are a surefire way to make a few extra bells in Animal Crossing.Nintendo
Money trees are a surefire way to make a few extra bells in Animal Crossing.

How to make millions with Animal Crossing money trees

Money trees are always good for a little extra cash. As your island continues to grow though, your ambitions become bigger ⁠— like terraforming your entire village ⁠— and you’ll need every last bell in the bank.

Article continues after ad

The problem is, money trees have a risk factor to them. Planting 10k bells is the safest choice, because you will always get 30k in return. Some Animal Crossing fans live on the braver side, though, burying up to 99k. They often lose their bells.

There is a solution though ⁠— time travel. Mucking around with your Switch’s date settings is a surefire way to guarantee your 99k bells get turned into 297k:

  • Find a rare glowing dig spot for your money tree.
  • Bury 99,000 bells, and confirm a sapling has sprouted.
  • Go to the home screen and close Animal Crossing.
  • Head over to System Settings and select “date and time.” Turn off the “synchronize clock via the internet” option here.
  • Set your time and date to 40 years in the future, e.g. If you are doing this on May 13, 2021, make sure you go to May 13, 2061.
  • Open Animal Crossing back up and check your tree. It should have a guaranteed 297,000 bells waiting for you!

If you’re going to avoid the time travel glitches, we recommend only planting 10k for each of the money trees you uncover. It’s the safest way to avoid losing cash, and 20k profit for just finding a rare digging patch ain’t bad either!

Article continues after ad

Do money trees regrow in Animal Crossing?

Unfortunately, once the Bells have been plucked from the tree and popped into your pockets, the money tree reverts back to a standard, green ole’ Hardwood tree.

Of course, though, if you’re time traveling, this shouldn’t be an issue as you can find a new glowing spot full of Bells every day.

Can you move money trees?

Yes, you can! Once you’ve planted the tree, feel free to dig it up and place it wherever you want on your own island.

Money trees not growing

If your money trees aren’t growing, make sure that you haven’t planted them close to other objects, such as trees, next to rivers, or by cliff faces.

Article continues after ad
You'll be rolling in Animal Crossing bells before you know it with this money tree trick.Nintendo
You’ll be rolling in Animal Crossing bells before you know it with this money tree trick.

Consequences of time travel in Animal Crossing

Be warned, using the time-traveling glitch in New Horizons doesn’t come without its dangers too. You may not get in trouble for ‘cheating’ the game, but there are a few things that could happen to your island you may be wary of.

From losing streaks, to having villagers wanting to move out, and gaining a bedhead, our time travel guide will fill you in on all those pesky cons. You may have vanished into the future to bag those free bells, but the world continued on without you for a while. 

Making big Bells fast means you'll have to wave goodbye to some neighbors and be ready to pull some weeds.Nintendo
Making big Bells fast means you’ll have to wave goodbye to some neighbors and be ready to pull some weeds.

Of course, this method of gaining bells may leave a sour taste in some player’s mouths. It’s technically a bug or “cheat.”

Article continues after ad

Plenty of fans are keen to stick to more lawful ways of making lots of bells in their Animal Crossing adventures, and that’s fine too.

Make sure to check out more of our Animal Crossing guides and lists, such as the 5 funniest catchphrases, the best way to plan your island layout, and how to grow gold roses.