The average cost of a funeral is around $9,000 which is a lot of money for anyone, no matter whether you’ve allocated money from your estate or your family have to pay for the funeral themselves. This is why it’s best to arrange things well in advance and, if possible, even pay for things ahead of time.
If you can do this, your family and friends won’t need to worry about planning and paying for your funeral while they are also grieving your loss. With that in mind, here are some things to consider when it comes to your funeral costs that will help to reduce the price where possible so you can pay for the things that matter to you.
Cremation or Burial?
If you haven’t quite made up your mind whether you would prefer cremation or a burial when it comes to it, you might want to think of the cost. A cremation is much less expensive than a burial, and can save many thousands of dollars – this may even be the majority of your funeral expenses, and if you can reduce costs here you’ll have more money to spend on other things.
If you don’t have a preference as to what happens to your body, being cremated is the most cost-effective solution. Look into all the costs and then ensure you make a note of your preference in your will so that everyone is aware of what you want.
Choose Your Funeral Director Wisely
The funeral director (or undertaker or mortician, depending on where you are from) is another big cost of any funeral, so it’s wise to choose one that offers plenty for the price you’ll be paying.
The funeral director should be the one who arranges everything, which is why they charge high fees. If you want to ensure you are getting the most for your money (or whoever eventually pays for the funeral is) then talk to a shortlist of undertakers to find out what services they provide. Would you be getting real value for money? If not, go elsewhere. Remember, paying less doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a lower standard of service, but it might do, so do your research thoroughly before committing to anything. Again, keep the details safe so that your friends and family know what to do when the time comes.
Some funeral directors offer a monthly payment plan so that you can pay off your funeral in advance. This can suit people who want to include all the extras like funeral flags and register books but who wouldn’t have the funds to have these things if they didn’t pay in advance for the larger costs.
What Kind of Memorial?
You might not be planning to have any kind of memorial at all; not everyone will. If you’re choosing burial, however, then you will need some kind of headstone. If you are being cremated and having your ashes scattered or even kept in a loved one’s home, you might still want a memorial plaque placed somewhere you enjoyed going to when you were alive.
Memorials can range dramatically in price depending on what it is you want. A headstone can be extremely expensive because of the amount of work that needs to go into making it, as well as the fact that expensive materials can often be used. Alternatively, a small plaque won’t cost very much money at all.
Decide in advance what it is you would like, and you’ll then know how much it will cost. From a memorial bench to a tree planted in your name to an entire mausoleum are all potential ideas, and narrowing things down will help people to prepare in advance and will give you more control over what happens after you have gone.
A great way to save money on your funeral costs, if money is something you want to save – you might, of course, want to go all out when it comes to your time to say goodbye – is to have people use their own vehicles rather than hiring funeral cars. Of course, you’ll still need a hearse to transport the coffin, but if everyone uses their personal cars to follow the procession rather than hiring the traditional limousines and private funeral cars, this will save a lot of money.
That money can then be used to pay for a wake or other celebration of life instead so that you have a fitting tribute to a life well-lived.