5 Tips For Balancing Your Bereavement And Your Budget

With prices of funerals rising all the time – coupled with so much emotion involved in the process of planning one – it can be easy to let it break the bank. But if you're on a budget, it's important to know how you can save money and avoid some of the financial pitfalls of making funeral arrangements. Here are 5 top ways to keep any memorial on a budget.

Recognize a Sales Pitch. There are ways that funeral home staff can steer you toward choices that cost more, so be aware of such pitches. This can include phrases like, "I'm sure you want what's best for..." or "This is the last thing you will do for..." Remember that your love is not determined by how much you spend on a memorial service.

Ask for the Price List. The Federal Trade Commission's "Funeral Rule" says that you have the right to see a general price list when seeking a funeral home's services. Often, this price list will help you save money over package deals being offered. Use the price list to price out only the services you want and need, then comparison shop.

Bring Someone More Objective. Because this is an especially difficult time for those who loved the deceased, making choices may not be best left up to them alone. When meeting with funeral staff to make decisions, it's good to bring a friend who wasn't quite as close to your loved one as you are. Discuss what your budget is and what type of service you want before you reach the funeral home, then let them help guide you to make the right choices.

Seek Less Expensive Alternatives. There are a number of ways to find cheaper versions of the basic funeral necessities. You can often save a lot of money by shopping online, even at big box stores that you might not normally expect to carry things like caskets, urns and flowers. If the deceased was a veteran, you may be able to have a funeral for little or no cost through Veterans Affairs, too.

Consider Unusual Options. Many people assume you must have certain things for a funeral. Embalming, for example, may not be necessary if the viewing will be held shortly after the passing. You can also often rent a casket or choose a low-cost model (generally not shown unless asked for). Consider a less formal memorial without the body present – an option that can save a lot of money and still provide a beautiful remembrance.

By knowing how to avoid some of the costly choices offered by a funeral home and what alternatives there are, you can plan a memorial or funeral that will honor your loved one without sacrificing your financial future.  Be sure to use a trustworthy funeral home, such as Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel.