5 TIP FOR PLANNING FUNERALS ON A BUDGET
Most people are shocked at the costs involved with a funeral. This is the case especially when a parent, grandparent or loved one did not plan for the event and didn’t have insurance. Fortunately, planning funerals on a budget is simple with these 5 tips:
1. Compare Costs
The top tip for finding a budget funeral is to shop around. Funeral homes offer a variety of packages to meet specific needs and your pocket at different prices. You will probably find that costs differ significantly between one provider and another. Ask a church or local religious organisation if they can put you in contact with funeral service providers that offer less costly alternatives.
2. Communicate The Budget
Make sure that the funeral home understands that you are after a budget funeral and let them know exactly what that budget is. They will then be able to better assist you in planning a funeral that will stay within budget.
3. Negotiate Costs
Although it may seem distasteful to haggle to pay less for a funeral, there is always room for negotiation to reduce costs without ending up with a “cheap” funeral. Don’t be afraid to express when you think you are being charged too much or if you can get the same service at a lower cost somewhere else.
4. Cremation Vs. Burial
Cremation is often less costly than burial. Burial requires a plot in a cemetery that is quite costly these days. Options are for burial in the same plot where a loved one is already buried. Alternatively, shop around for cemetery plots that are less expensive. Choose a less expensive casket, especially if you are opting for cremation.
5. Additional Costs
There are many additional costs involved with a funeral that can quickly add up. Buy and arrange your own flowers that can be used at the church, cemetery and reception or forego the flowers altogether. Ask friends and loved ones for cash instead of flowers. This request can be tastefully worded in the invitations that you should make and send yourself to save further costs.
Keep in mind that you will pay extra for an organist or clergy to speak at the funeral so you may want to speak yourself or choose a good orator in the family to say a few words (funeral directors may take on this function included in the total cost of the funeral). Use a CD player or other device to cover the music. Ask family and friends to contribute to food and drinks at the reception which is best held at home or doesn’t have a reception. You can also print out your own memorial or funeral service handouts rather than having these professionally printed.
Keeping a funeral small and intimate rather than making it a big affair is a good way to stick to a budget without looking cheap. Remember to take into consideration the wishes of the deceased. However, unless they expressed these wishes in a legal document (such as a will) it isn’t strictly necessary to fulfil their wishes for planning funerals on a budget.