Losing a loved one is traumatic and severely stressful. Add to that the responsibility of juggling the funeral expenses and logistics wisely.
Death in a family can take its toll and you have to make smart decisions to come out of the situation with only the loss of the beloved on your mind.
The Average Funeral Costs
The average funeral in the United States costs around $9,500, according to Seniors Life Insurance Finder.
The casket alone can cost the grieving family just above $2,000 already. But there are special caskets made of mahogany or bronze that can cost as much as $7,000.
The median cost of the basic services fee of funeral homes is $2,500. The funeral director’s fees reach $1,500. Embalming and other body preparation can go as high as $800.
A funeral ceremony sets you back by $900, transportation, $500. If you’re cremating the body, the price of an urn ranges from $75 to $350, depending on how elaborate it is.
These prices are the median costs all over the United States. They can be lower in your area, or higher. But the fact remains, not all families can afford these costs.
7 Tips to Save Money on Funeral Expenses
There are websites dedicated to helping grieving families find the most economical funeral services in their area.
You can also compare prices over the phone. Federal law requires funeral homes to give prices over the phone.
Funeral homes are also required to give you an itemized price list when you talk to them about arrangements in person.
You don’t have to buy the services of the first funeral home you walk into. Consider all options. Comparing prices can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
Consider Cremation Over Traditional Burial
According to the NFDA, the traditional burial costs $7,360 on average. Cremation, on the other hand, costs around $6,260. Opting for cremation over a traditional burial can save you more than a thousand dollars.
If you prefer a traditional burial, however, consider not getting a vault. A vault increases the traditional burial price from $7,360 to $8,755.
Say No to Gasketed Casket
If you’re going for a burial, say no to a gasketed casket. Funeral homes may take advantage of your grief and offer you products that sound comforting.
A gasketed casket is marketed as a protective casket. It supposedly keeps the body of the deceased safe from the elements once the body is in the ground.
The Funeral Consumers Alliance reports that gasketed caskets cost $800, even though it only costs funeral homes $8.
Aside from the cost, the Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule states that gasketed caskets are designed to protect the casket, not the body.
It’s even recorded that a hermetically sealed casket increases the decomposition rate of the body. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with a body decomposing.
There are other options similar to the costly embalming. Refrigeration of the body costs around $50 per day.
Compared to the almost $800 cost of embalming, refrigeration is the better option money-wise.
But if you decide to skip embalming, you don’t have the option for viewing. And the funeral or memorial service has to happen after the body is buried or cremated.
Direct cremation or immediate burial can also save you up on embalming costs. This means cremating or burying the body shortly after death.
Consider a Home Funeral
In most states, it’s legal to conduct the funeral at home. This means completing the death certificate, filing it, then caring for the body at home until you take it to its final resting place.
Donating to Medical Research is an Option
Donating the body to medical research is an important option to consider. It is the most economical choice. You will only have to spend money on transportation and the memorial service.
The local university of your choice will take care of the rest. Most of the time, the university will return the cremated remains of your loved one after two years, or as soon as their study of the body concludes.
However, you have to be sure that you and your deceased loved one favor this option.
As hard as experiencing death in the family is, making wise decisions is still a priority if you want a financially stable future for a living.
These tips will help you maintain financial security should you need to make tough decisions regarding funeral expenses.