You’ve just lost a loved one and you’re trying to make burial arrangements, plan a memorial service, and take care of the many details that are involved. You might be caught off guard by the cost of it all. Paying for a funeral can be very expensive, especially if you aren’t prepared for it. Finding affordable burial and cremation options can be a daunting task. Add to that a memorial service or even post-funeral gathering and the final tally goes up even more. A family looking at the looming costs of a funeral may feel overwhelmed and wonder where to start.
This is a good place.
Pre-Plan Your Arrangements
If at all possible, planning your final arrangements in advance is the best way to ensure you have a burial or cremation you can afford. When you plan ahead, your family is not left to make decisions about your funeral, what you might want, or try to figure out how to pay for it all. Do it for your loved ones and encourage those you love to pre-plan as well. Visit our website to learn about pre-planning.
Creative Cutting Costs Ideas
Quite often, just being able to bring your costs down a bit or getting a little help with funeral costs can help ease some of the financial burden. Here are a few cost cutting ideas.
Set a Budget
If you have any money to work with, set a budget for yourself and stick to it. This will mean doing a little comparison shopping, calling around to find out the average costs of things like a casket, burial, cremation, and the service, but once you have an idea of what you are dealing with you can create a realistic budget. (You can watch our on-demand webinar for an introduction to the average cost of a funeral and its component parts.)
Request Donations in Lieu of Flowers
This is a common practice, especially when the death was unexpected. Simply add a statement to the obituary and/or memorial service invitations stating that the family will accept financial contributions to help offset funeral expenses in lieu of flowers.
Rent a Casket
Rental caskets are used for the viewing and service. The body never touches the casket, but instead is placed in a wooden box that fits inside of the casket. You can’t see the box and it looks like the body is in the casket. After the service, the wooden box containing the body is removed. We offer several rental casket models in addition to the caskets we sell.
Choose an Affordable Venue for the Memorial
Do some comparison shopping when it comes to finding a venue. Chapels, community centers, and churches are usually affordable. If you are a member of an organization or church, you may get a deep discount – or even be able to use those facilities for free. Other options you might consider:
- A family member’s or friend’s yard or home (if it is large enough to accommodate a number of guests)
- A park (check with the city or park manager to see if there is a fee or if you need a permit)
- A hotel hall or wedding venue during the off season
Ask for a Discount
Sometimes asking for a discount will get you one. Many funeral homes, venues, florists, and rental companies have unadvertised discounts available – you just need to ask for them. Affordable burial and cremation services often hinge on the discounts that can be found. We offer a limited service burial that will significantly reduce your expenses.
Give Crowdfunding a Try
Crowdfunding has worked for many people who can’t afford a funeral for their loved one. Just be sure you know the pitfalls of crowdfunding for a funeral. Quick tips for creating an effective crowdfunding page:
- Create a descriptive title
- Use a clear, high resolution picture
- Identify yourself and explain your relationship to the deceased or family
- Describe the situation and explain what you hope to accomplish with the campaign
- Use emotion to make your request more powerful
- Keep your description between 300 and 700 words with short paragraphs and good punctuation and spelling (as few errors as possible)
- Itemize the expenses so donors can see where their money is going
- Update the page regularly and respond to donor messages where appropriate
DIY Options to Personalize the Service
If you or someone you know is fairly creative, there are plenty of things you can do when it comes to personalizing the service. Try some of these DIY ideas:
- Make Your Own Programs
- Opt for Pot Luck Instead of a Caterer
- Find Affordable Options for Invitations
- Make Your Own Centerpieces and Décor
- Craft Your Own Keepsakes
At Phaneuf, we understand that the loss of a loved one is an emotional time. If you need help making arrangements for your loved one, we can assist you with many parts of the process. Contact us today and let us give you the help you need.