I sent an email to FMD on Wednesday telling them that "Thanks but no thanks. I think I'll go on my own on this one."
They said, "That's great! Way to go with minimalizing your budget! Send us confirmation of insurance and you're good to go! Make sure you have a credit or debit card. Good luck!"
I have an AmEx Gold, connected to my parents, who have access to my accounts to pay for anything I put on the card. I managed to find insurance that is for cheap and looks fairly good. I need to have it reviewed by my parents to make sure that I'm not getting scammed, but when I looked at my budget again, I noticed that a third of my expenses were through the Foreign Missions Division.
Let me illustrate in numbers.
The total budget is $7250. Ouch. It is laid out as such-
I got a deal. $1300 is the actual amount.
Food: $600 ($100 per month)
Housing: $1500 ($250 per month)
Local travel: $600 ($100 per month for bus, taxi, etc.)
I've been told I'll be walking more than I'll be facilitating buses and taxis.
Personal, email, telephone: $300
I have free email through Yahoo! and won't have a phone. Yay for Skype!
Visa costs (including travel to renew): $150
Language study: [blank]
I'm just proud to throw that in. Go me!
These are the realistic/not-going-anywhere expenses. Aside for a few tweaks, these expenses are pretty much uniform.
Then let's look at the FMD Office Projections:
WEC/IT Support: $120.00
WEC is my financial system. They're charging to run my financial system and then charging administrative fees. Huh? And why do I need IT support?
FMD Administration Charge: $721.73
They charge me just under $1000 for their administration.
Total budget: $7,217.35
Rounded budget: $7,250
Taking into account my potential insurance cost, I've going to end up spending $4,500 on this trip by going alone. I'm saving over $2000.
Tell me you wouldn't do the same.