People are often shocked when they learn how much a funeral costs. If you're on a tighter budget or would prefer not to spend that much, you may initially think working with a funeral home is out of the question. But this is probably not the case. The truth is, while funerals certainly can cost a small fortune, they do not have to. Most funeral homes do offer various options for those with more limited funds. You just have to speak up and let your budget be known! Here are some more specific ways you can keep costs down when working with a funeral home.
Opt for a graveside service
Holding the actual funeral service in the funeral home tends to be one of the more costly components. The funeral home has to set up a rather large space for the funeral, be prepared for numerous visitors, and then clean up after what can be a pretty large event. You can often save quite a lot by instead having the funeral service at the graveside. The funeral home can often provide an officiant, if needed, but since you are not using their space, the cost will be a lot lower.
Cremation is becoming more common. There are a number of reasons for this: it's eco-friendly and allows for flexibility in scheduling the funeral. Cost, however, is definitely a big factor. Cremation costs a small fraction of the price of embalming, and most funeral homes now offer it. You can still have a lovely funeral service or memorial with an urn containing the remains of your loved one.
Schedule everything on one day
Many people assume they have to schedule a wake or viewing for one day and then the funeral itself some days later. This is tradition in some families, but there's no reason you have to stick to it if it does not work for you. Often, you can save money by scheduling everything on the same day since this simplifies planning for the funeral home. You could have a visiting period for a few hours in the morning and then have a funeral service in the afternoon. With this approach, you can also use the same flowers and decor for both events, which saves you even more.
It's entirely possible to stick to a budget when planning a funeral. Be honest with the funeral home about how much you can spend, and follow the tips above.