How To Keep Funeral Costs Down
Funerals have been a part of society and civilisation for thousands of years. The Egyptians cast spells on deceased bodies, loved ones were farewelled into the afterlife and in some cases sacrificial rituals were performed. And while in this day and age there are a bunch of weird funeral ideas out there (freezing your body for cryogenics, mummifying yourself, having your ashes turned into diamonds), the reality is that most people just want to follow a traditional formula. The aim is to be respectful, show a bit of personality and celebrate the life of a loved one.
However, as the demand for cemetary real estate increases and the market becomes more populated, funeral prices can creep up without you even realising. So here are a couple of ways that you can lower the costs.
Weigh up the pros and cons
Consider what’s necessary and what isn’t. eziFunerals can help you select a range of additions that you can choose to include in your funeral service that may not actually be needed. For example, you can opt for a coffin that people can draw on, have a choir and even release doves into the sky. All of these things can add to the ambiance of the service, but they can also increase the price. Think about the details because these can really make a difference to the cost.
If it’s your own funeral that you’re planning, it’s worth looking into a prepaid funeral plan. This ensures that you lock in a price and pay for the service in advance. Not only does this allow you to select exactly what you want for your service, but it also means that you take the burden from your loved ones. Research shows that the majority of Australians don’t want to think about paying for their funeral just yet, which means that if something unexpected happens and you’ve already prepaid for your service, your relatives or friends won’t have to carry the cost.
Cremation is typically cheaper than a burial, because there are less factors involved. When planning a burial, costs are normally higher because there is actual real estate involved. Recent news shows that some cemeteries are even running out of space because certain locations are so high in demand. Cremations have their perks too, as you can scatter the ashes somewhere meaningful and it’s cheaper to do so.
Save on flowers
A normal bunch of flowers is expensive enough already, so imagine how much you’d have to pay if you went above and beyond. Flowers can be a major cost factor in funeral services, so consider only picking flowers that are in season and locally available. There’s no point in paying to ship flowers from exotic locations unless you really feel that they are necessary. You could also consider sourcing them yourself, or only having them at the wake.
Choose the right funeral director
Many funeral directors can be expensive, so consider your other options. You don’t need to go with the minister or director provided by a specific funeral home or brand. Consider someone that you know, a local minister or anyone else who is registered or allowed to officiate funerals.
Use a comparison website or planning service
It’s great to have access to services that can help you plan without you having to do too much work. Websites such as eziFunerals can help make the task of planning much simpler and less daunting. If you’re not too sure about how to get started and you want to compare a range of costs, this is worth looking into.
Richard Laycock is an insurance expert at finder.com.au.