By: Kathryn Hyer
Emotions run high from the grief of losing a loved one, and planning a funeral often causes even more stress not only emotionally, but financially. Processing so many emotions in a short amount of time often causes family members to rationalize unnecessary funeral expenses. There are many ways to cut down on funeral expenses. Read below to learn how you can save money on funeral costs.
Compare Funeral Home Costs
Just because a funeral home is down the street from you, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best option, or the most affordable. Try looking up different funeral homes in the area and comparing the cost, before making a quick decision and jumping ship. Doing your research on funeral homes will ultimately save you money in the long run.
Consider All Of Your Casket Options
After the death of a loved one, many aren’t in an emotionally stable place to make sound financial decisions. If possible, bring a close friend or family member with you to assist in making such decisions, specifically regarding a casket. Don’t be pressured into purchasing caskets with special features such as sealers or rubber gaskets. These features won’t prolong the decomposition of your loved one, and will ultimately add to your funeral costs. Most funeral homes allow you to provide a casket from a third-party provider. Some third-parties manufacture caskets as low as $400, compared to the average cost of a funeral home casket, ranging anywhere from $2,000-$10,000.
Skip The Embalming
Another way to save money on funeral costs is to skip the embalming process. While embalming is ideal for those wishing to have a public viewing of their loved one, it’s not a necessity in cases of cremation, or immediate burial. Skipping the embalming process could save you upwards of $700. Should you forgo embalming, you can inquire with the funeral home about the costs to refrigerate the body.
The average rate of cremation in the United states rose from 3.57% in 1960 to a staggering 48.6% in 2015, with that rate being forecasted to rise up to 54.3% in 2020, according to the National Funeral Director’s Association. More and more people are opting to choose cremation over traditional burial as a way to save money on funeral costs. The average cost of a direct cremation without any funeral services is anywhere between $1,100 and $4,000, compared to an average of $7,000-$10,000 for traditional burial. There are about 13 establishments nationwide that offer cremation for under $1,000, including Barton Funeral in Seattle. Should you choose to still have a ceremony, caskets may be rented from the funeral home for viewing purposes. However, purchasing or renting a casket for direct cremation is not required by law.
Utilize Fundraising Websites
Despite all of your best efforts to save money, sometimes it still won’t be enough. This is especially the case when a loved one passes unexpectedly, leaving you with mounting funeral costs with no savings to pull from. One of the benefits of living in a digital world is how fast news gets around. Due to its sharing efficiency over social media, many people have opted to use fundraising websites, such as www.gofundme.com, to help raise funds for mounting funeral costs. Anyone who views your fundraiser has the opportunity to donate money through the website. Should you wish family and friends to send condolences via money donations instead of flowers, this is a great option. It’s free, and can make a huge difference.
Donate The Body To Science
Donating a body to science eliminates 100% of funeral costs. After medical use, the remains will be cremated for free and sent to the family within 3-5 weeks. This is a great option for those who aren’t in a position to afford burial or cremation, or for someone who made it known before death that this was their wish.
Consider Having A Home Burial
Depending on the state you live in, home burial may be an option for you. While home burials are illegal in Seattle and the rest of Washington state, each state has different regulations and guidelines. However, if you live in a rural area and own some land, this is a very feasible option. Home burials tend to be more personal, economical, and efficient. If home burial is something that interests you, take the time to research home burial guidelines in your state.
Pre-plan Your Funeral
No one really likes to think about death, let alone plan for it. However, planning ahead will relieve the burden and stress placed on your surviving friends and family who would need to plan it. Doing so may also cause you to make more sound financial decisions than someone who is grief stricken, ultimately allowing your loved ones to save money on funeral costs. Create a checklist of things you’d like to have incorporated in the planning, and let your family know what your wishes are.
The loss of a loved one can be painful, but planning a funeral doesn’t have to be. If you’re planning a funeral in Seattle or any of its surrounding areas, Barton Funeral is here for you. We strive to give family members a positive funeral experience, without the stress of overpaying for one. No matter your budget, we would love to work with you. We want you to be taken care of in your time of grief.