A funeral can be one of the most expensive expenses in your life. It’s also a topic that many people don’t want to consider or discuss. However, it’s important to plan ahead and find ways to save money on a funeral service, especially considering the average cost for a funeral is several thousand dollars.
Planning your funeral ahead of time can be a great way to help your family. They won’t have to make decisions about the funeral service as they go through the grieving process.
So, how can you save money on a funeral? We’ve put together some ideas to help you save money on a funeral.
1. Prepay funeral expenses
Funeral cover, also known as funeral insurance, is a type of life insurance that can help pay your funeral costs. Just like other types of insurance, you pay monthly premiums for a fixed amount of coverage. The payout is made to your beneficiary at the time of your death.
This type of coverage is best for those who are a little older. The reason is that if you’re young, you will probably be paying for the insurance for years. The premiums could eventually cost more than your funeral service.
If you’re older and/or have been diagnosed with a serious illness and have a short life expectancy, then funeral insurance may not be the best option for you, either. This is because it’s more difficult to find an insurance provider willing to sell a policy when you have a pre-existing condition. If you do find an insurer with a policy that works for you, then chances are pretty good that the premiums will be exorbitantly high, because the risk of you dying is very high.
With these considerations in mind, funeral cover can still be a good option for you at the right time of life.
2. Create a budget
Having a budget for funeral expenses is a great way to keep costs from spiraling out of control. To create a budget, it will be necessary to do some research to find out what different types of services costs, what they include, etc.
You can begin by reaching out to funeral homes in your area. Be sure to ask if they can provide a list of general pricing information. If you have specific questions on items for the service, then don’t hesitate to ask. It’s a good idea to contact at least three funeral homes in order to have a good idea on pricing.
In addition to contacting the funeral homes directly, you may be able to visit funeral home websites for price lists, etc.
Once you have as much information as you’d like, then you’ll have enough information to create a realistic budget for the type of service you prefer.
3. Evaluate the packages
Next, you’ll need to compare and evaluate the funeral packages carefully. Sometimes funeral homes bundle their services; however, what you need is an itemized breakdown of funeral costs. This way you’ll be able to compare the packages.
4. Furnish your own urn or casket
Sometimes you can save money on funeral costs by providing your own casket or urn. Check with the regulations in your area, but most places don’t require that you buy the urn or casket from the funeral home.
There are warehouse clubs, such as Costco, where it’s possible to buy a casket online. Or in case of cremation, you can buy the urn or other container from another source.
5. Choose cremation
Cremation can be a cost-saving option when it comes to funerals. With a cremation, you won’t have to worry about paying for a casket, a large burial space, opening/closing of the grave or even a vault.
However, keep in mind there could be costs for the urn (unless you provide one yourself), a niche (a place for the urn at the cemetery), or burial in a cremation garden.
6. Choose a green burial
For those who are eco-conscious, a green burial may be the way to go. This way, you save money and the environment at the same time.
A green burial usually involves being buried in a biodegradable casket. These are generally made of wicker, bamboo, or another green material such as canvas. With a green burial, there’s no embalming involved; however, there may be a cost for a burial vault in cemeteries where they want to keep the landscape even.
These are all ways you can keep funeral costs on a budget. In addition, pre-paying with funeral cover is a great away to make sure loved ones will have the funds available to cover your service. They won’t be left to pay for the funeral or make difficult decisions as they go through the grieving process.