A Money Coach in Canada

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And no, it isn’t my Canada’s-best-kept-secret day-job bank.

This is: DREAM BANK.


It’s the kind of bank any money coach would love. Here’s how it works.

Let’s say you want to … take a trip to Europe. Reno your kitchen. Buy a vespa (did I say that?). Or it can be more noble things like feeding hungry people in Haiti, or funding a peace march.

And rather than receive less-than-desired gifts for birthdays and christmas, what you really want is cash to help your dream come true. Enter Dreambank.

You post your dream,

then tell friends and family about it. They can then go contribute to your dream.

One of the aspects I really like is that you can only withdraw once from your pool, then the dream is deactivated. I know from personal experience as well as from clients that its always tempting to plunder your savings when something more immediate comes up. This will help keep the savings intact until the dream is realized.

Another aspect I like is that each dreamer is required to choose a charity and donate something, and also the business itself will donate to charities. There are a lot of wins here!

Last: is it a bona fide business? Yes. It’s created in Yaletown (part of Vancouver), and promoted by Darren Barefoot.

So, over to you: What’s your dream? Go make it happen.

About the Author

Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com


  1. Great post, Nancy. I wrote one as well, recently, and my Dream is to get a MacBook Pro 🙂


    Aug 12, 2008
  2. Angela

    I really wanted to like this idea – and I still think it’s a good one. However, I was somewhat suspicious as to why they don’t list the name of the chartered bank they store the money at – why would they not want to have the banks name identified ? Surely any bank would be comfortable being associated with this ? I wrote and asked dream bank – and my email message was returned as a failure. So, perhaps you know the answer to my question Nancy ?


    Aug 13, 2008
  3. @Raul Hey, I’d chip in a few coins towards that dream, for sure — heaven knows you’ve helped me out enough re: blogosphere. Have you signed up yet?
    @Angela I’m 99% sure they use PayPal entirely. Are you familiar with PayPal? It’s totally legit, and I’ve personally used it a lot for my business (eg. clients from other countries). So, they avoid BANK-banks, entirely. I’ll forward this post/comment though to them as well, to see if they’ll respond to you themselves here.


    Aug 13, 2008
  4. angela

    Nancy on their website they refer to paypal and also to holding the money in:

    “…. held by large, respected, internationally-chartered bank”

    I’d like to know who that respected internationally chartered bank is. I’d also like to know what happens if the organisation dreambank folds – do you get your money back ? There’s no information on this. I’d also like to know how dream bank are funded – they have a staff – who pays the salaries and running costs ? At the moment, there isn’t enough information on their website about this – it’s not transparent.

    Yes, I know I’m untrusting!! But I think these are valid questions – if they have nothing to hide they should put the information out there. There are enough internet scams at the moment (witness the beijing olympic ticket thing) and I like to be fully sure of the authenticity of things on the internet.


    Aug 14, 2008
  5. The idea is all well and good, but the fees are atrocious!

    “Contributors pay a $2.25CAD transaction fee on each contribution” [….] “the Dreamer pays 2.5% of their total Dream amount when they cash in”.

    So, to get the privilege of receiving money from people I know (which I can already do), I lose at least 2.5% of the money, I get no interest AND my money isn’t insured? No thanks!


    Aug 14, 2008
  6. @Nancy Thanks for the great write-up!

    @Angela We use HSBC to handle all donated funds until they’re paid out to dreamers. There are some silly bureaucratic reasons why we currently can’t name HSBC on our site (but we are allowed to respond to questions like this). We agree that it seems less than entirely transparent, and we’re trying to resolve these issues as soon as possible so we can get HSBC’s name up on the site.

    @Quick Lunar Cop The fees are what they are. Providing safe and secure payment through PayPal isn’t the cheapest way to go but our research indicates that it’s the safest. Also, it’s the most ubiquitous online payment system in the world, so people trust and are familiar with it.
    If you look around, you’ll see that we’ve negotiated some pretty good rates. We want to make it safe and easy for people to contribute and receive their funds no matter where they are in the world. We distribute the fees between the contributors and the recipients because both receive a service by using DreamBank.
    And, as we state repeatedly on the site, DreamBank is a business, not a non-profit. The fees represent the revenue that keeps our lights on.


    Aug 14, 2008
  7. This is a concept I’m totally in love with. Execution? Not sure I have a stance on that… Thanks for sharing!


    Aug 22, 2008

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