Animal Crossing: 9 personal finance lessons from Nintendo’s hit game


The video game Animal Crossing: New Horizons became a sensation in a short time. Released on March 20 for the Nintendo Switch console, ACNH lets players explore a small island and make it their own. This includes seemingly mundane tasks like pulling weeds, catching bugs, or chopping wood.

You might think a video game about chores sounds weird. And…well, it is. However, the ability to explore a virtual island has been a healthy escape for millions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Closed players eager to check out the latest entry in this already popular series have been piling up 5 million digital downloads of the title in March alone – a record for the most digital copies sold in a single month.

Moreover, chores are only a means to an end. the real call does not spend 20 minutes catching a dozen bass. He sells these fish for bells – a currency you can use to customize the island and its appearance. You can build bridges, add rooms to your house, and even design your own clothes. The sky is the limit, as long as you have the bells to fund your creative vision.

This means that practicing good financial discipline is important if you want to build your best life.

And believe it or not, the personal finance lessons learned in Animal Crossing: New Horizons translate pretty well to how you can practice good behaviors in the real world. Read on for a look at nine solid financial and investing tips you can take from this bestselling title.

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1. Set a budget

You can have fun in games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons just running around buying whatever you feel like at the time.

Many real-world consumers do the same.

Unfortunately, if you spend your bells at zero all the time in animal crossing, it will take forever to get expensive furnishings like the 76,000 Bell Deluxe Washer. And forget about being able to complete that fancy Zen bridge that costs 228,000 bells.

The same is true in real life, where buying a car or a new device usually requires budgeting and planning. You can start by using our budget worksheet to create a plan that includes dedicated savings for long-term expenses.

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2. Exercise self-control

A budget is a plan. Self-control is how you stick to this plan.

You’re saving for a new house, but then stop by a local store and see a slick electric bass guitar for sale. Do you spend the 82,000 bells and go home to rock out to “Walk on the Wild Side” or do you stick to the long-term plan and budget you created?

Deep down you know what the responsible response is. Impulse purchases, especially high-priced ones, can quickly derail your financial plan. Staying disciplined isn’t always easy, but it’s the only way to achieve ambitious long-term goals like retirement, buying a home, or saving for a child’s education.

That doesn’t mean you have to give up all the fun stuff. But if you’ve only budgeted a small amount for discretionary spending, you should stick to that amount, lest the big items fall out of reach.

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3. Know the cost of convenience

Many of us know that it’s cheaper to make our own cup of coffee at home or to go to the hardware store and pick up bags of mulch instead of having it delivered to our door. We just want the convenience of not being hassled with these tasks, and we’re happy to find contractors who can do these jobs for us – for a small fee, of course.

But knowing what’s worth your time and what’s not is a crucial part of financial success.

For example, in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you can sell all your bugs and fish to the local store. However, if you are playing after the store closes, you have two options. You can go home and put everything away, then take it all back and resell it the next day; That takes time. Or you can quickly sell your wares through the store’s night drop box…for a 20% fee. That fee might not matter when you’re selling a bunch of crickets for a measly 130 bells a pop, but you might want to sit on that rare golden beetle rather than incur a 2-bell convenience fee. 400 bells.

Every commodity has a cost – a cost that you should always calculate before making a transaction. A cup of coffee may only cost a dollar or two more than homemade java. But other elements can really add up, and so may be worth doing yourself or doing differently as a result.

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4. Know the value of your work

In animal crossing as in life, raw materials are not worth as much as fancy finished goods. For example, the fruit your island produces only sells for 100 Bells per piece. But if you turn 20 apples into apple-themed wallpaper, that’s worth 4,000 bells, which is twice the value of that fruit alone!

Not many people can make a sofa or a chair in real life. But you can certainly make your own paint or wallpaper, and the smartest among us can even sew curtains or create decorations.

You can save a lot of money by doing some of these things yourself instead of buying finished products. And just like in ACNHyou can turn your handmade products into a decent side hustle if you find buyers who are willing to pay for them!

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5. Declutter your life

Spend a few minutes browsing the internet and you won’t run out of photos showing well-appointed homes and pristine outdoor retreats. But we all know of many homes (perhaps even our own) that feature messy basements, jam-packed garages, and filing cabinets full of documents from decades past.

This clutter isn’t just bad for aesthetics; it’s also bad for your wallet. Do you really need everything in that storage unit you’re paying rent for? Could you use an online auction site to dump that unused treadmill and earn a few bucks in the process?

In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it is admittedly much easier to salvage an old cello or barbecue and sell it quickly than in real life. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to get rid of clutter to generate real financial benefits.

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6. Take advantage of coupons and rewards to save money

Another way to save a few bells in animal crossing is to focus on coupons and vouchers. You can complete daily tasks for “Nook Miles”, which can be exchanged for furniture or clothing. You can shop with Sahara le chameau, which offers a loyalty program in the form of tickets for each carpet you buy. You had the idea.

In real life, you have a wide variety of ways to apply this trick. There are online discount codes, cash back bonuses, even punch cards where you get your 10th sandwich free at the local deli. These programs can help you access discounts or occasional freebies, saving you a little money.

Whether in this video game or in real life, smart shopping can help you achieve your financial goals.

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7. Speculation is high risk and high reward

One of the most talked about features Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the weekly “stem market” for turnips. Simply put, a runny-nosed piglet shows up every Sunday to sell the vegetables at a set price. If you’re lucky, local traders will buy them at a higher price over the next few days.

But there is no guarantee that they will not offer you less than what you paid. This is important to know because turnips don’t last forever, so if prices stay low and you never sell, you may end up with a bunch of rotten turnips and nothing to show for your purchase.

Of course, there are stories of Turnip Millionaires buying low and selling high. There are also stories of day traders who bet everything on fast-moving stock and now own a private jet. But these rewards aren’t the norm, and they shouldn’t mask the real risk of short-term speculation with your hard-earned money.

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8. Low-risk instruments offer smaller but safer returns

An alternative approach to the stalk market is the much less lucrative method of relying on interest from your savings in the bank. In Animal Crossing, as in real life, that return is pretty darn low: just 0.05%, or 5 bells out of 10,000 saved, after the Bank of Nook lowered rates by a much more 0.5%. healthy in April.

However, the interest on savings is a safe bet each month, unlike the volatility and uncertainty of turnips. And those hard-working players with millions of bells in the bank enjoy a living wage.

Investing always involves personal consideration of your long-term financial goals, your budget, and the level of risk you are willing to take. While some might view bank interest as too small to matter, others might be happy to skip the high caps of riskier methods if it means they can be more sure of their finances.

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9. Money doesn’t buy friendship!

It is natural to want to have beautiful things, and many of us get great satisfaction from showing off our beautiful clothes or our beautiful homes. But it’s important to remember that money can’t buy all in life.

In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, by forming friendships with the other inhabitants of the island, you can give them gifts such as flowers that you have just picked, decorations that you have made by hand and other items that may not be worth not much. You’ll also find that if you give freebies, people will sometimes reciprocate – or if you’re really lucky, they’ll just pay you bells above what you’d get selling the item directly at the store!

But at the end of the day, your friends just enjoy the camaraderie; talking to them and showing them that you care will make them happy and content to stay on your island.

This is a subtle but important lesson. In the words of the immortal KK Slider, “Rambling this crazy world is squaresville without some pals.”


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