When a loved one dies, family members are often left to make funeral arrangements, which could be burdensome financially. Laying down someone you love respectfully involves making many important decisions such as where to hold the funeral, which casket/urn to use and whether to go for cremation or a traditional burial, all while factoring in the costs. To prevent funeral arrangements from becoming a financially draining, here is a look at several things you can do to lower the overall cost.
Opt for cremation
Choosing how to dispose the body of a loved one is deeply personal and often influenced by your religion and values. However, a cremation can be a cost-effective and respectful way of disposal due to the lack of burial charges.
There is often a small charge for the cremation process itself, but this is typically much lower than what you would pay for a traditional burial. Opting for cremation also allows you to save on the cost of a casket, which is one of the biggest funeral expenses incurred during a burial. The ashes of your loved one can be stored in a container that has personal significance such as a jar or decorative box that you have at home.
Alternatively, you can purchase an inexpensive urn made from artificial material resembling granite or marble. If the cremated remains are to be buried, you will often have to pay a charge for the burial, but it will likely be lower than that of lowering a casket. To cut costs, you may opt to scatter the ashes at no charge or keep the urn safely at home.
Obituary and funeral program
Another creative way to lower funeral costs is to write and submit the obituary to a local newspaper yourself, which would eliminate the cost of your funeral home having to do that for you. Additionally, you can design a professional-looking funeral program with the help of a friend and have it printed on paper you purchase yourself. This can have a significant impact on the funeral cost as it could be cheaper than using your funeral home and their designated printer.
Grave vault or liner
Most cemeteries require that you purchase a grave vault or liner to protect the casket/urn from decay, sinking or being damaged by heavy equipment at the graveyard. You can save by opting for a grave liner instead of a vault. If you decide to go for a vault, choose a plain one such as a simple concrete box.