The average cost for a funeral today in the US falls between $7,500-$12,500. This can is a huge burden on a family. But it’s completely possible to plan a funeral for a low cost, without compromising on quality.
There are many reasons why a person doesn’t have arrangements pre-made for a funeral, and all of them are completely valid.
Maybe they didn’t have money to preplan their own funeral.
Perhaps they were young and preplanning a funeral wasn’t on their radar.
A death can be sudden, so the individual and their family didn’t have a chance to discuss how the funeral would be paid for.
Whatever the reason, it’s completely heartbreaking when a family is put in a place where they feel that they can’t honor their loved one with a memorial service because they can’t afford it. Each person’s life deserves the honor and respect of people coming together to mourn and remember those who were impacted by them.
How To Plan An Affordable Funeral
- To plan a funeral on a budget, consider cremation. Cremation costs will vary, so you’ll want to shop around. However, some families have found funeral homes that can do a standard direct cremation for as little as $350. Once the cremation is complete, you will be given the ashes of your loved one to either put into an urn, make into jewelry, scatter in a place they loved, or bury.
There are various costs associated with each of these different aspects of properly handling the ashes, but having the ashes handed to you by the funeral home frees you to hold your own memorial service in the way (and with the budget!) that you set. In most states, there is no law stating you have to have a funeral home present to hold a funeral service once the body has been processed.
If you to cremate, the most cost-effective option is direct cremation. Direct cremation eliminates the need for embalming and extra handling of the body, which can save you a lot of money.
- Keep funeral costs low by finding a place that is free or very low charge. Traditionally, funerals are held in a funeral home. But there are no rules about this either. You can instead choose to memorialize your loved one in a less traditional (but just as special) venue. Park shelters and churches can typically be rented by the day for a small fee. Keep in mind that you will be required to set up and clean up prior to and after the service. But many hands make light work, and in situations like this, where people want to help, it should be pretty easy to find some friends or family to help you with this. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Low-Cost Funeral Planning Guide
- See if you qualify for funeral planning benefits. There are many grants and services out there to help certain individuals who qualify. Check these and other resources to see if you can get some sort of assistance for your loved one’s funeral:
– Medicaid Funeral Assistance
– Veteran Death Benefits
– Prepaid Funeral Plans
-Life Insurance Policies
This is only a partial list, so dig a little and see if you are entitled to a little compensation to bury your loved one.
- Seek the help of a pastor or clergy. If you can’t afford the professional services of a funeral home beyond body preparation, your local churches can be a great resource for you.
Pastors are trained on how to counsel and comfort people as they navigate these first days after death. They can help you plan a service that pays respect to your loved one, and even deliver the funeral service for you.
They are also a great resource for things like music, readings and even helping you write a eulogy.
Keep in mind, that you will want to compensate them for their time and work, but bypassing a funeral home can save you thousands of dollars for the actual service.
Make a Funeral Affordable, Not Cheap
- Plan a simple memorial service as a low-cost funeral alternative. Whether in someone’s backyard, on the beach, or in a favorite museum or church, a memorial service can be a great option.
Otherwise known as a celebration of life, memorial services are typically held a few weeks or months after the passing. A memorial service is a great opportunity for you to gather everyone who loved this person and mourn their passing together.
It gives you a chance to honor their life and celebrate them without all of the formalities and pressures of a funeral so soon after the death.
- A memorial service can be a very cost-effective solution which also offers you a little space to come to terms with what has happened and celebrate their life in due time.
How to Plan A Funeral On A Budget
Planning a funeral is always a difficult time for anyone tasked to do it. You want to honor your loved one in a way that celebrates the life lived.
And you can have that.
With some careful planning and being willing to get help working out details that might otherwise be taken care of by a funeral home, you can have a funeral on a budget.
Reach out to your friends and family and delegate small tasks. And remember that simple is beautiful.
You don’t need to spend a lot to honor a legacy in a beautiful and memorable way.