Written by Kim Wilhelm
Last Updated 06 Jun 2023
You may know that the average cost of a funeral is between $7,000 - $10,000. Even basic funeral expenses can be hard to afford, and there are often add-ons.
However, it’s common for families to overspend when they make final arrangements for a loved one. In today’s post, the team at Final Expense Direct explains what causes this overspending. Plus, we share some tips on how to save money on funeral costs, including direct burial, life insurance benefits, and more.
Why People Often Overspend
There are many factors that go into funeral expenses and the choices can be intimidating for anyone making arrangements for a loved one. Many people are emotionally impacted by the loss, which can muddle their judgment. This is the first reason why people tend to overspend when buying funeral arrangements. The other reasons are:
- There are often dire time constraints. Families feel like they need to take action quickly.
- Many families have no previous knowledge or experience with funeral planning.
- Some funeral homes and cemeteries may prioritize profit over helping the family save money.
- The family doesn’t price shop.
When you have to make on-the-spot decisions and you haven’t planned a funeral before, it can cause over expenditure. But, by price shopping and doing some research, you can better understand your options and how they might fit into your budget. The more you prepare in advance, the more it will help you separate the essential items from the trivial ones.
What You Can Do to Save Money
Funeral costs are rising quickly, and the most you can get from Government benefits is $255. So, what can you and your loved ones do? Here are some quick tips for saving money:
- Call many funeral homes in your area to get a variety of prices. Funeral homes must share general pricing information upon your request.
- Price shop some items, like caskets or liners outside of the funeral home. If you buy some things from a third party, you could save thousands of dollars without surrendering any final arrangements.
- You can also have the memorial service at a private home or another place of significance. This can make a meaningful service at a greatly reduced cost.
- Document your preferences ahead of time. Do you prefer to be buried or cremated? Do you prefer a graveside service, a traditional viewing, or cremation?
If you know you want a burial instead of a cremation, your common expenses will include:
- Basic service fee
- Vault or coffin container
- Transportation fee(s), including hearse or van
- Cost of opening the ground, putting the remains in the ground, and burial
You can save money on these items and services and still have a memorable funeral. Call some local funeral homes for a price list and determine the best provider. You can also create a checklist to help you plan ahead.
What Is Embalming?
Embalming is the process of preserving a body to defer the natural breakdown of cells, which begins when you pass away. It’s a funeral practice that has been performed for thousands of years. It can help renew the deceased person’s appearance, leaving a lasting imprint of wellness rather than illness. The embalmed body may be laid out in a church, in an open coffin at home, or at a funeral home’s chapel.
While this process allows mourning families to spend a bit more time with their deceased loved one, it can be expensive. In most cases, embalming is not required by law, and you should consider options to reduce the cost.
Compare and buy
Direct Burial or Direct Cremation
If you choose direct cremation or direct burial, you can likely remove embalming altogether. A funeral home’s most economical option is typically a direct burial. This means there’s no visitation. A direct cremation is usually the same, but the body is cremated (burned) rather than buried.
Explore Other Types of Funerals
Funerals are unique to each person who died. Depending on your culture, religious beliefs, race, or financial situation, one kind of funeral may be more preferable than another.
Green Funeral: Eco-friendly funerals are trending up. Depending on the chosen style, a green funeral can save families hundreds, even thousands, of dollars on funeral expenses. Biodegradable caskets are usually a lot cheaper than traditional caskets. If you’re interested, the Green Burial Council has a list of vendors with green burial-certified products that can be utilized for your final arrangements.
Military Funeral: Military veterans are eligible for a free burial in a national cemetery and a grave marker if they fulfill certain requirements. Veterans’ spouses and dependents also qualify for a plot and marker in a national cemetery. If the individual who passed was either an active or retired veteran, the surviving family members are authorized for many benefits.
Military funerals can cost families thousands of dollars less, but you should call your local VA office for a complete list of discounts and benefits.
Horse and Carriage Funeral: It’s not available in every state, but a horse-drawn funeral is a special alternative to a standard hearse. It also gives families an additional style and beauty. Providers normally offer black or white horses and decorations in your chosen color. The cost of a horse and carriage will be higher and is typically charged by the hour.
Life Insurance Benefits Can Help
Life insurance is one of the most effective and reliable ways to cover the cost of the final arrangements. Specifically, final expense insurance is intended to help cover any end-of-life costs, like burial expenses or medical bills.
Final expense insurance is particularly common among seniors because it centers on protecting surviving loved ones from enduring financial overload when they pass away. To learn more about how life insurance benefits can help you, contact Final Expense Direct today.
Contact Final Expense Direct Today
Final Expense Direct is the largest agency providing insurance right over the phone. Let us help you find the coverage you need and the peace of mind you deserve. Call 1 (877) 674-0236 today!