How to Pay Off Your Moving Fees in Animal Crossing: New Horizons in 30 Minutes or Less!


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At the Start of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you’ll land on and soon explore your brand new island getaway, and just as soon, you’ll be slapped with an itemized bill. Ouch.

The total fee? 49,800 Bells, or 5,000 Nook Miles. And to make matters worse, you likely won’t know exactly what to do to get either of these two forms of currency.

But what if I were to tell you that not only is there an easy way to pay your moving fees, but also a way to do so in 30 minutes or less?

Whether you believe it or not, we’re going to walk you through paying your initial moving fees, step-by-step, right now!

Note: This guide assumes the player is playing from the start of the game, and does not cover goals beyond those a starting player can complete.

An Overview

Tom Nook's vague explanation of how to acquire Nook Miles.
©2020 Nintendo

So, to break the process down, as you play through the game, you’ll earn Nook Miles for completing specific goals and tasks.

You’ll need to earn 5,000 of these miles to progress any further in the game, and the game doesn’t tell you what to do up-front.

Normally, this part of the game is awfully grind-y, and un-fun.

So, to make the process as quick and streamlined as possible, we’re going to focus on just three sections of goals:

  • Using Your NookPhone (and making a post)
  • Buying and Selling items
  • Collecting, Hunting and Crafting

By the end of the guide, you’ll have done part 1 of these tasks, specifically:

  • [Island Name] Miles!
  • Have a Nice DIY!
  • DIY Tools
  • Trashed Tools
  • Greedy Weeder
  • Hoard Reward
  • Island Shutterbug
  • Edit Credit
  • Nookphone Life
  • Shop to It!
  • First-Time Buyer
  • Seller of Unwanted Stuff
  • Bell Ringer
  • Bulletin-Board Benefit
  • Exterior Decorator
  • First Custom Design!

And if it’s your Birthday, (even if it isn’t,) you’ll get a nice bonus to help speed things along!

  • (Optional) Happy Birthday!

Are you ready? Then let’s dive in with the easiest and quickest part: Using Your NookPhone.

Don’t have your Island Paradise or a copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons yet? Buy a digital copy through Amazon, here: Animal Crossings New Horizons – Nintendo Switch [Digital Code]

Part 1: Explore your NookPhone, and make a post!

The player villager checking their NookPhone.
©2020 Nintendo

You can get a lot of miles fairly quickly just by exploring your NookPhone. (You’ll be given this by Tom Nook just before you get your itemized bill.)

By Pressing the ZR button, you’ll pull out your NookPhone, and have access to a number of pre-installed apps.

The ones you need to worry about for now are the Nook Miles app, Camera app, Custom Designs app, and the Passport app, which are the blue, green, pink and purple icons.

The Nook Miles app screen.
©2020 Nintendo

For starters, open the Nook Miles app, where you’ll go to redeem and earn Nook Miles.

You should see that one of the cards is already completed, and will give you a quick 500 miles just for arriving on the island.

Press the “A” button to redeem it, and move onto another app, like the Custom Designs app.

The Custom Designs app is a very nifty feature, allowing you to make custom designs for furniture, clothing, etc…, but we won’t be going too far in-depth with it.

The Custom Designs App.
©2020 Nintendo

We’ll simply navigate to one of the blank designs, press “change design“, and just as quickly, press the + button on your controller twice to get another 500 miles.

That’s 1,000 miles in less than a minute!

Still with me? Then let’s go to another app, like… say, the Passport.

With the passport app, you’ll see a very simple screen that’ll show basic information about your Villager.

The Passport app of the NookPhone.
©2020 Nintendo

Here, we’re just going to press the “A” button, and change your title.

Your title consists of a two-part naming system, and all of the title keywords you’ve earned from completing Nook Miles goals will be listed here.

Simply select whatever you like from the list, and press + to save your changes. Exit the app and you’ll be done!

That’s another 300 miles down!

The last app we’re going to use is the camera app, which allows you to screenshot what’s happening in game, and the screenshot captured will be saved onto the Switch itself.

The Camera app on the NookPhone.
©2020 Nintendo

Play with the camera settings if you like, but just pressing the + button once will take a screenshot, and that’s enough for you to get some more miles. 300 miles more, to be exact.

If you’ve been using your phone as described above, you should already have another goal complete, titled “Nookphone Life“.

By doing all of the above steps, you should have a combined total of 1,900 miles. Not bad for just mere minutes of play!

The very last step here is a very quick, non-NookPhone step, that you can easily knock out.

While in your Island’s Plaza (the dirt area where the orientation session was held), there is a bulletin board you can very quickly make a post on.

The island plaza's bulletin board.
©2020 Nintendo

This post will be visible to all players on your island, but can be erased at any time.

Simply type in a brief message (or character), and you’ll get another 300 miles, bringing you to 2,100 miles.

We’re almost halfway there in just minutes! Next up, buying and selling!

Part 2: Buying and Selling

Timmy explaining he both buys and sells to players.
©2020 Nintendo

This next section can be fairly quick, depending on how early you’ve been pocketing things. It’s all about money!

Before you begin, however, make sure you placed your tent down wherever you like.

This is required in order to use the Nook Stop, and for a goal listed in part 3.

A Villager shakes a Pear Tree to gather fruit.
©2020 Nintendo

Tent set-up aside, if you’re the very first player on your Switch for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, (aka, the Resident Representative), you’ll already know that you can shake trees for both fruit and tree branches, and you may already have an abundance of either!

You can get some Miles by selling off 20 fruits from your Island, completing a Nook Miles goal.

However, you can also pick up weeds from the ground, too, and sell those as well. (Which I’d recommend moreso than selling fruit.)

In fact, if you can pick up 50 weeds or more (a lot quicker than it sounds), you’ll be able to get a handful of miles, and accomplish two goals at once!

A Villager plucking weeds off of their island.
©2020 Nintendo

Regardless of which you choose to harvest, (preferably both), once you’ve got your haul ready, go into the resident services tent, talk to Timmy (nearest to the community chest), and sell off whatever you don’t want.

You’ll probably be stopped by Tom Nook, who’ll explain that Timmy tends to buy nearly everything sold to him.

Tom Nook explaining that Timmy, a nookling, will buy anything a player has to sell.
©2020 Nintendo

Don’t be overzealous and sell everything, but sell a stack of weeds at the least.

If done right, you’ll have two goals complete: “Greedy Weeder“, and “Seller of Unwanted Stuff“, each earning you 300 miles apiece.

If you should also happen to have 20 fruit you’re willing to sell, that will earn you another 300 miles for completing a part of the “Pick of the Bunch” goal.

If you’ve done two of these steps, you’ll have an additional 600 miles, for a total of 2,700 miles. If you got all three, that’s 900 miles instead, and a whopping 3,000 miles total.

But we aren’t done with this section yet…

Talk again to Timmy, and with your newly acquired bells, buy something from him. At first glance, he’ll only have two pricey furniture items, but if you press the R button, you’ll see some much cheaper, and more practical items for sale.

I’d recommend buying the slingshot from him, which can help pop balloons that pass by the island, but I digress…

You can buy anything you like, but try to keep your purchase price low!

With your first purchase completed, you’ll earn another 300 miles for completing the “First-Time Buyer” goal. You should have up to 3,300 miles at most, or 3,000 miles at the least after this.

And to take things a step further, by accessing the terminal at the bottom right of the Resident Services tent, you can place an order from Nook Shopping, and earn yet another 300 miles.

You’ll also earn a daily bonus of miles, starting at 50 miles, for each day you access the Nook Stop terminal.

So, by the end of this step, assuming you have done everything mentioned, you’ll have a total of 3,650 miles! With another 5 goals, you’ll have more than enough to pay off your moving fees!

This brings us to part 3…

Part 3: Crafting, Hunting, and Collecting

A villager throwing a fishing lure into the ocean.
©2020 Nintendo

This section isn’t as clean-cut as the rest, and takes the longest to do, but that’s why it’s saved for last.

With part 1 and part 2, you should have somewhere around 3,650 Miles. The last 1,400-ish require you to be able to craft at the DIY bench, Catch Fish and/or Bugs, and Collect DIY Recipes and Furniture.

If all of that sounds worrisome, it isn’t hard, but it has a bit of a learning curve. However, you can skip this section entirely if it’s your birthday.

Chances are higher than not that it isn’t your birthday (unless you “time travel”), so let’s get started, shall we?

If you’ve followed part 2, or were just naturally curious, you’ll likely have entered the Resident Services tent (the green tent in the Plaza), and were prompted to take part in Tom Nook’s DIY Workshop.

If you haven’t joined it yet, Talk with Tom Nook to do so, and the game will walk you through crafting a fishing rod.

If you already have, you can also make a net, (far easier to operate than a fishing rod,) and begin catching critters!

Regardless, you’ll have to go around catching things for a bit. To do this, you’ll need to pull up your inventory with “X“, and choose the tool you want to hold.

For Bugs, catching them is generally as simple as holding your net, and pressing “A” while facing in the direction of a bug.

For fish, you’ll have to look out for fish-shaped shadows in water, throw your line in front of the fish, and reel in with the “A” button once you see the bob completely submerged underwater.

However, completing the goals for fishing and bug collecting are time-consuming, and that’s not the focus here.

The focus is on merely getting new catches, and placing them down.

A villager having placed all of their tools and critters on the ground.
©2020 Nintendo

Specifically, for every new critter you catch, I recommend placing them on the ground somewhere you’ll remember them, as you can hold onto them to build up an expansive new feature: the Museum.

You’ll also get 300 miles for placing 10 things outside, which doubles nicely with placing your new catches down. (Plus, you’ll want to have as much pocket space as possible, anyways.)

This is the “Exterior Decorator” goal, and you’ll almost certainly have to place your catches down to meet it on your first day of gameplay.

If you’re missing a few catches, placing your tools and/or clothing down temporarily will also count towards this!

A villager having placed two critters in their tent.
©2020 Nintendo

During all of your catching endeavors, don’t be afraid to take a specific creature or two and put it in your tent!

In fact, if you have a total of 5 items in your tent, you’ll earn another 300 miles, for the “Hoard Reward” goal!

Since you start off with three furniture items in your tent, placing any two creatures is enough for this goal.

Now that your tent and island have finally gotten some new furniture, you’ll need to go back to fishing or bug catching for a bit.

Eventually, your tool(s) will break, but don’t fret, you’ll get Nook Miles for breaking your tools anyways. This will complete the “Trashed Tools” goal for another 300 Nook Miles.

A player villager scratches their head as a tool breaks.
©2020 Nintendo

In response, you may be tempted to just make multiple tools too, and that also earns you Nook Miles. This completes a part of the “DIY Tools” goal, once you’ve made 5 tools total.


To recap, If you’ve been following along so far from the beginning, you should have about 4,850 miles.

If you’ve caught a total of 10 fish or 10 bugs (or both), you’ll have met your goal with an additional mile reward for both!

If not, don’t worry, this last step isn’t nearly as tedious.

With all of the bells you have (or can have by selling off those extra catches), you’ll want to buy the digital “DIY for Beginners” recipe book from Timmy for 480 Bells.

This, along with any message bottles you’ve found, should be enough to get you the 10 recipes you need to meet the “Have a Nice DIY!” goal, and earn you your 5,000 mile total.

If you’ve gotten your 5,000 miles, you can skip ahead to part 4. For now, we’ll cover a helpful birthday bonus first, just as a relevant aside.

Optional: Birthday Bonus!

If you’re reading this section, it’s for one of three reasons:

  1. It just so happens to be on or near your birthday,
  2. you’ve found Step 3 to be too boring/lengthy and want to time travel (cheat),
  3. you’re naturally curious.

Regardless, let’s talk birthday bonuses!

If you happen to be playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons on your (in-game) birthday, you can get a massive 2,000 Nook Mile bonus just for treating yourself to the game! You’ll just have to redeem the miles once you play!

However, even if it isn’t your birthday, you’ll can still nab this bonus by “time travelling”, a spiffy phrase that really just means, “you cheated and changed your Switch system’s internal clock.”

The Nintendo Switch's Date and Time Settings.
©2020 Nintendo

To put it clearly, time travelling is done by going to your Switch’s System Settings -> Settings -> Date and Time menu, where you can disable the option to “Synchronize Clock via Internet”, and manually set the date and time to that of your birthday (or any other day.)

Just make sure to set your hour to 5AM or later. Animal Crossing considers a day to be from 5AM of one morning up to 5AM of the next, so 12AM-4:59AM will not register as being your birthday, even though the system itself does.

Once you start the game back up, you can check your NookPhone, and redeem a quick and easy 2,000 miles! Whether you needed it or not, let’s head back to the green resident services tent to begin part 4, shall we?

Part 4: Paying off your moving fees

Tom Nook asks the player if they want to pay off their moving fees.
©2020 Nintendo

It’s been a bit of a slog to get here, (especially with part 3), but you should now have your 5,000 Nook Miles!

Make your way back to the Resident Services tent, and talk to Tom Nook “about my moving fees…”

If you have 5,000 miles, you can pay off your fees immediately, and you’ll be able to both begin progression in the game, as well as exchange miles for other goodies.

Tom Nook announcing the player has paid off their moving fees.
©2020 Nintendo

After talking it over with Tom Nook, your moving fees are officially paid!

You can continue talking with Tom Nook, and discuss taking out a Home Loan to have a house.

Don’t worry about upfront costs and construction time, as your house is built by tomorrow morning at 5AM, and the loan can be paid off at any time afterwards, in installments.

Don’t forget to check your Nook Miles app, too!

You’ll be reimbursed 500 miles for paying your moving fees, and if you put in an order to upgrade to a house, (Which you’ll need to do to progress in the game,) you’ll be enrolled into Nook Miles +, which gives you rotating objectives to earn more miles every day!

And there you have it! You’ve just paid your moving fees in less than a day! If you’ve found this guide helpful, share it! And leave a comment below, too!

If you’re curious about what else you can earn Nook Miles for, check out this work-in-progress Nook Miles post!

Now that the initial grind is over, enjoy your Island Paradise!

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