4 Tips to Help You Save Money on Your Funeral

While most people consider weddings, cars, and homes some of their biggest life purchases, planning and paying for a funeral can also make a significant dent in your finances. Funeral arrangements are important because they need to not only show respect for the individual that passed away, but they also need to be meaningful to the individuals who are grieving him or her. It is possible to plan a funeral without breaking the bank. Here are four tips to help you save money on your funeral.

Tip #1: Limit Visitation to the Day of the Funeral

As a general rule, visitation for the deceased is a couple of days before the actual funeral. However, in some cases, you may be able to reduce your overall costs by having visitation an hour or two before the funeral itself. Alternatively, you can informally have visitation before the funeral. Generally, people will arrive early for a funeral, which will allow them to pay their personal respects to the deceased—doing this will ensure that you aren't out any additional costs for visitation services.

Tip #2: Choose Cremation Over Burial

Though not a decision to make based solely on cost, cremation does tend to be cheaper than a traditional burial. It doesn't cost to bury a casket, but it does cost to prepare the body for the burial process. While you do not have to bury the cremated body, the cost to do so (in an urn) will be less than a casket, and you will have to pay for the cremation process. If you choose not to bury the ashes, they can be scattered in an area that is personal to the deceased or kept in an urn at home. You can compare your options by contacting local cremation services. 

Tip #3: Opt for a Less Expensive Casket

If you choose to go the traditional burial route, don't get the most expensive casket available. To keep your costs low, select a casket on the lower end of the spectrum, such as one that is made out of heavy-duty cardboard or fiberboard, or make one yourself or find someone that could make one for you.

Tip #4: Plan Ahead

The best way to save money on your funeral is to create a plan. Rather than wait and expect your family to have to plan your funeral after you have died, take the time to plan your funeral before you die. In doing so, you will be able to lock in a price for your entire funeral, plan your funeral so that it plays out exactly the way you want it, and you can make payments on your funeral until it is paid in full.