Save money on your funeral - MoneySense

Save money on your funeral

The last thing you want your family to have to do when they hear of your ultimate demise is go shopping.



What could be more difficult than trying to pick out the right coffin, urn or whatever while also figuring out how to cope with your absence?

The average cost of a funeral runs about $6,500, but you can save a bit of money if you plan ahead and follow some basic rules.

Rule #1: Treat the purchase of your funeral arrangements exactly the same as any other major purchase you make. Figure out what you really want and then shop around for the best price.

Rule #2: Know that burying you will cost way more than turning you to dust. Between the box you must buy and the ground you must purchase, traditional burials are far more expensive than cremation. The latter will take your $6,500 price tag down to about $1,000.

Rule #3: Skip the embalming. It’s not a requirement as long as you get planted nice and quickly. Don’t get talked into this.

Rule #4: Shop online. I’m not sure how happy I’d be to use a casket as a coffee table, but there are folks who shop online and buy their caskets ahead of time for up to half the price.

Rule #5: Nix-nay the flowers. People like to decorate their death parties with living things but funeral bouquets can get expensive. If well-wishers send flowers to the funeral home, take those with you to wherever you’re having the service.

Rule #6: Skip the burial outfit. Yup, some funeral homes offer to provide spiffy duds for the special day. Take a pass. Pick out what you want to be buried in ahead of time so your family doesn’t have to make the decision.

For the cheapest of all, donate yourself to science. Many donation organizations offer free cremation when you donate your body. And what would be better than knowing that even in death you’re doing a good thing.