According to the National Funeral Directors Associations, a funeral may cost over $25,000, and even the cheapest ones are going to take $2,000 out of your wallet. And just because you can afford to spend the extra buck on a funeral, it doesn’t mean that you should. There are always ways to keep spending under control.
Sadly, more than 6,000 people die every day in the U.S, and not all families are prepared for the unfortunate event. An average cost for a funeral is somewhere around $7,000, but you can always reduce the spending by choosing wisely at every step. From selecting the flowers to the type of burial or casket, there are only so many aspects that may increase/reduce the final costs.
One of the best pieces of advice on spending for a funeral comes from Martin Phelps, who works in the funeral business for a decade. He advises that people should consider the funeral preparations “the same way they address other purchases.” For instance, when you’re buying a vacuum cleaner, you’re going to make a lot of comparisons. It would help if you did the same for a funeral, comparing prices for every aspect counting for the funeral.
What are the most useful tips for reducing funeral spending?
Flowers, type of burial, casket, memorabilia, the type of funeral service you’re choosing are only some of the numerous aspects to consider when preparing for a funeral. It’s challenging to keep an eye on the budget when it’s the first time you do it, so keep reading to find out the tricks on reducing the funeral spending:
1. Should you have a cremation or a burial service?
Unless the deceased had explicit requests on how he/she wants the funeral to proceed, you should start by thinking which of the two (burial or cremation) to have.
Most of the time, the cremation is going to be less expensive than a traditional burial, but you can still have a burial funeral without emptying your wallet.
2. Make comparison shop online
Nowadays, you no longer need to go with the casket provided by the funeral home. There are so many options online, and checking the prices is straightforward. According to Trustedcaskets.com, “shopping for caskets online is incredibly easy. You can check a high number of models in a short amount of time and find the model fitting your budget and preferences in the most convenient way. In addition, express delivery is available, and that means you will have your casket right when you need it.”
Whether you want a plain and simple wooden casket, or an exquisite stainless steel model with velvet lining for the interior, the variety of models you can find online is impressive. It would help if you had some time and patience to choose the one you like the most.
It would help if you didn’t worry about the casket not coming to you on time. Typically, the seller will send it to you right where it’s needed, and the shipping costs aren’t as high as you’d expect.
3. Select a reliable funeral director
Funeral director fees are probably the most significant spending for the funeral, so you shouldn’t go with the very first funeral director you meet. A funeral director will take a significant burden off of your shoulders, making sure that every step of the funeral will go as smoothly as possible.
Even if your budget is tight, you should know that the funeral director can manage every step of the funeral, providing his experience and professional help for every decision you need to make. From the collection and care of the deceased to connecting everyone involved in handling the funeral preparation and coordinating the funeral day, the funeral director is the best choice for most customers.
Planning a funeral is highly emotional, and it overwhelms most people. A good funeral director will help you go through the entire process while paying attention to your requests and needs. Remember to ask a quote, including all the services that the funeral director can provide for you.
And just because you hire a funeral director doesn’t mean you have to buy the casket from the funeral home. Laws are protecting the customers, allowing people to use coffins purchased from a third party.
4.Skip the embalming
Regardless of what you know, preserving the body through embalming isn’t mandatory for every funeral. Nevertheless, many funeral homes are going to require embalming if there’s going to be a public viewing.
When you have the funeral service within 24 to 48 hours with no public viewing, you can skip embalming. Chris, who works with people every day, reminds us that “even if you cannot have the service soon, you can still look into refrigerating the body. It’s an approved alternative to embalming in most states.”
The spending for embalming is around $700, which increase funeral spending significantly.
5.Watch out for the long shopping list
There are numerous aspects to address for a funeral, and you don’t want to skip any of them. When you’re deciding to have a physical memorial, you have to also select memorial benches, headstone, mausoleum, and so on. the memorial spending can vary and here are some of the spendings to make:
- The material of the tombstone- It can be stone, granite, or marble, with granite being the most affordable material.
- Design- The lettering, drawing, symbols will be engraved on the headstone can cost per symbol or letter. Take your time when selecting the model and run the numbers before sending your final decision.
- Shape- You can have it curbed, upright, or flat. The flat headstone is the most affordable type.
- Preparation-It’s also spending to think about as the ground has to be prepared before installing the headstone.
For those of you who don’t want to go with a physical memorial, some options are both meaningful and affordable:
- Plant a tree in the memory of the deceased
- Scatter the ashes in a particular place
- Maintain the ashes somewhere close to home
6. Go with a low-cost funeral service
Losing someone you’ve loved is never easy, and the financial aspects don’t make it any easier. You can still have a nice funeral service without going over the top while paying your respects warmly and lovingly to the deceased.
The average spending for using the funeral home facilities and staff for ceremony and viewing is $900. When you don’t want to give up on the funeral home service, but don’t afford the entire list of services, you may cut corners. It’s not mandatory to buy the funeral home’s complete package, and it’s possible to select only the service and goods that match your wallet and needs.
For instance, you can also select a hearse for transporting the deceased, with the rest of the procession following in their private vehicles. Limousines and private funeral cars are quite expensive, so make sure you add the spending to your list too.
Another way to cut down the spending is to use your catering for the wake and not hire a caterer. Additionally, use a free online funeral notice service for announcing the family and friends the funeral details. Placing an obituary in a local newspaper is more expensive.
7.You can always donate the body to science
If you run the numbers for a funeral service and you still cannot afford it, maybe you want to look into giving the body to science. “Clients should know about the companies that work as a go-between for whole-body donors and labs running medical research,” says Amanda working for this sort of company.
When the donors are accepted, the spending on cremation, transportation, and even filling the death certificate is covered by the company taking the body. The cremated remains are returned to the family, most of the time. Keep in mind that some infection diseases (HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and more) may be reasons for not accepting the body of the deceased.
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