Today, the average cost of a funeral ranges between $7,000 and $10,000. Although everyone wants to plan a beautiful send-off for their loved ones, funerals can be costly and are often out of the price range of an average person. Here are some tips for planning a simple and affordable funeral to remember your loved one.
In order to save the most on a funeral, start by shopping around. Since funeral homes are legally required to provide clients with an itemized list of services, don’t be afraid to call multiple funeral homes and ask for general price lists, along with the prices of packaged services. Comparing prices from different funeral homes is a simple way to you save hundreds—and even thousands—when planning a funeral.
In addition, visiting different funerals homes can give you the opportunity to ask questions and talk to the staff. Talking to the staff is a great way to learn more about the different services offered by each funeral home and get ideas to plan the funeral. Make sure to choose a funeral home within your price range whose staff you feel comfortable working with.
Cremation is becoming an increasingly popular and affordable alternative to traditional burial. Cremating a loved one involves exposing their remains to high heat until they are turned into ashes. Your loved one’s ashes can then be kept in an urn, buried, or scattered at a place of your choosing. Providing your own urn can help you further save on funeral costs.
You can purchase your urn from any online or in person source of your choosing. Since this is a rather personal decision to make, you may want to make your selection as a family. If you aren’t all located in the same area, rely on a photo saver to upload photos of the urn options to your personal cloud and share with family members who will be making the decision with you. This is already an emotionally-charged period. Relying on a smart home device like Ibi to store and share these photos can help make things a bit easier.
Choosing cremation serivces can help you save money by skipping the costs associated with burial, tombstones, and caskets. Companies like Heritage Cremation are affordable and supportive throughout every step of the cremation process.
Although embalming used to be a standard practice, artificially preserving your loved one’s remains is often an unnecessary expense. The embalming process involves using formaldehyde, a harmful and costly chemical, to prevent decomposition.
Skipping embalming can help you save money while also protecting the environment. Since burying formaldehyde can damage the environment, doing without the embalming process can help the body decompose more quickly without leaving behind harmful chemicals. Burying or cremating your loved one immediately after death eliminates the need for embalming.
Use VA benefits
If your loved one was a veteran, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs may be able to reimburse part of the funeral costs. The official VA website can help you determine what kind of reimbursement you may be eligible for. The typical burial allowance for veterans $300 for deaths not connected to military service and $2,000 for service-connected deaths.
To find out more about other benefits, including the playing of taps and the presentation of the American flag at your loved one’s funeral, ask your funeral director or contact the VA.
Negotiating funeral costs requires establishing a budget through thorough research of funeral costs. When creating your budget, carefully decide which services are most important to you and your family.
Stick to your budget by relaying it, along with your list of desired services, to funeral homes. Instead of allowing funeral homes to overcharge or upsell you, you’ll be presenting funeral homes with a statement of how much you’re willing to spend on the funeral. Creating a strict budget will make it easy to find the funeral home that best fits your budget. Additionally, a budget can help you save big money compared to blindly accepting an offer from the funeral home.
Although funeral planning can seem stressful and overwhelming, taking control of the process can help you avoid spending thousands of extra dollars. Ultimately, following these tips can help you plan a memorable funeral without breaking the bank.