The average end-of-life services in the United States cost nearly $10,000, according to data from the National Funeral Directors Association and Funeral Consumers Alliance. This includes a viewing at a funeral home, preparing the body for the viewing, a church or memorial service, an obituary and a cemetery burial with a vault, gravesite and tombstone. This is still the way most families honor their recently deceased loved ones. However, there are a number of things you can do to save money on funeral arrangements, while still being respectful to the person who has died.
1. Opt for cremation. Choosing cremation over burial can save you a significant amount of money. The average end-of-life expenses using cremation varies between $3,250 and $1,650, depending on whose statistics you use. With cremation, you don't need to purchase a cemetery plot or a headstone, nor do you need to have a viewing and pay for the body to be prepared for that viewing. Cremation is also kinder to the environment as it frees up land for other uses.
2. Keep the obituary short. Most newspapers charge by the line for obituaries. That half-page tribute can cost hundreds of dollars. While you don't want to leave any of the person's family or life achievements out of the listing, resist being wordy and save. Most readers will only digest a few paragraphs anyway. You can save even more by choosing to post the obituary for free on the funeral home's website and skipping the newspaper altogether.
3. Don't splurge on a casket. Even if you choose cremation, you'll still want a casket if you hold a viewing. However, prices vary dramatically, from simple pine boxes to elaborate mahogany caskets. Many people make emotional decisions when picking out a casket, equating the amount they spend with have much their loved one is missed. Remember that the casket is going to be buried in a few days. Consider choosing a modest casket and donating the difference to a church or community outreach program as a tribute. You can also rent a casket for just a viewing if you choose cremation.
4. Host a memorial service at your home or church. Having a memorial service at a funeral home can add several hundred dollars to a funeral bill. In addition to the room rental, there are fees for parking attendants, programs and music. Save money by having the service at a favorite park, in your home or in your local parish hall.
Funerals expenses can quickly get out of control. Rein in these costs, while still honoring the person who died, by opting for cremation, keeping the obituary short and choosing a simple casket. For more information about the costs associated with a funeral, contact a company like Memorial Mortuaries.Share
10 May 2016
When my father passed away a year ago, my mother didn't have any problems with the funeral or burial. My father planned his funeral in advance. He didn't want to burden my mom with any problems during her time of grieving. That hit me. I realized that I didn't have any plans for my own future, which would make it even harder on my wife and kids. So, I contacted a funeral home online and requested information about burial services. The funeral home provided me with many options that I could afford to pay over time or upfront. My wife also helped select burial plots for us because we didn't want to be separated — even after death. I encourage you to read through my blog. It offers great tips and advice on how to plan for your own future. Don't wait. You never know what life holds for you.