Affordable Funerals: A Stress-Free Guide to Hosting a Funeral on a Budget

The average funeral costs about $11, 000. Unfortunately, not everyone passes away with the ability to pay for this out of their estate. If you are facing the prospect of paying for a funeral on a budget, here are some tips for affordable funerals.

Affordable funerals don’t have to be lacking. You just need to be strategic in the choices you make.

Consider these tips when planning your loved one’s funeral on a budget.

Shop Around

You compare rates for other services, why not affordable funeral homes? Call around to several in your area and ask for the “general price list.”

This list needs to itemize the charges included in the total funeral cost. If the funeral home won’t provide this, beware. It is required by law that this price breakdown be itemized.

Provide Your Own

You may also find that you can buy some aspects of your funeral from somewhere other than the funeral home. Contact stonemasons to provide a beautiful headstone.

Another option is to provide your own urn. If you choose cremation, you will be given your cremains in a plastic bag in a plastic box. If you want to display them at home, you’ll need an urn.

Funeral homes and crematoriums will sell you one, but you can save big by finding your own.

Direct Burial

When looking at the price sheet, you will notice that a direct burial is your cheapest option. If you choose this option, the body will be buried soon after death. There is no visitation or embalming.

Tone Down the Casket

You will find that a fancy casket can quickly inflate your budget. Unsavory salespersons will try and upsell you on unnecessary features and elements.

Opt for Cremation

Cremation is more affordable than burial. It is also becoming more acceptable as 50% of Americans chose cremation over burial in 2016.

Host Your Own Funeral

If even the cheapest funeral home is still out of budget, then you can save by hosting your own funeral. By far, the most affordable funerals are those that can be catered for at your home. You could also have it at a local church or other religious building.

Hosting at your home will only cost you the refreshments you choose to provide. If you want a church, the clergy will typically offer their services for free, although it is customary to give an honorarium.

Check Into Financial Assistance

If your loved one is a veteran, then you may be able to receive a funeral allowance from the VA. You may also be able to have other benefits included in the funeral service. This could consist of a presentation of the American flag and playing taps.

Another option is to look into Social Security. The surviving spouse and children will receive a $225 death benefit.

Choose a Green Burial

There are only a few “natural burial grounds” around the country, but the trend is growing. These funerals tend to be cheaper and benefits the earth by not using toxic embalming chemicals and steel caskets.

Plan Affordable Funerals

When it comes to planning affordable funerals, there is a need to get creative in how to make the arrangements. Don’t be afraid to shop around, ask for itemized price sheets, and outsource the necessary elements.

If a full funeral is still too expensive, you could choose to host one at home or skip it altogether. It may also be helpful to boost the budget by looking into possible death benefits.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.