It is no secret that funeral prices have rocketed in the last decade with the average funeral costing £4184 (Cost of Dying report 2021). Obviously, this is an inevitable cost that nobody can avoid but there are certain ways that you can minimise the cost of your or your loved one’s funeral.
Consider the option of a direct cremation
Whilst the cost of the average funeral has been increasing, the Sun Life cost of dying report 2021 recorded that the cost of a direct cremation was down 4.4% from the year before. The number of direct cremations taking place also rose to account for 25% of all funerals recorded, this could be due to more funeral directors offering them and more people becoming aware.
But why is it that a funeral with a direct cremation is over £2000 cheaper than the average funeral? The main difference between the two and the largest reason for the reduction in cost is the fact that a direct cremation does not include a service for loved ones to pay their respects. Also, the body is cremated immediately after death and the ashes are returned to the family meaning that this eliminates the need for embalming or other body preparations. The body is usually cremated in a simple container, rather than an expensive casket.
Not only are direct cremations generally cheaper but they offer more flexibility, as a service can be arranged for loved ones at a later, more suitable date if necessary.
The omission of a funeral service means that the family can choose to pay their respects when and where they wish, such as a wake at home or a special place for their loved ones, arranging their own food and flowers which can drastically reduce the cost.
Since the late music icon, David Bowie, famously requested to have a direct cremation, people are becoming more aware of them and deviating away from the ‘traditional’ idea of what a funeral is.
Take out a pre-paid funeral plan
Taking out a pre-paid funeral plan means that you can lock down the funeral directors’ costs at today’s prices. Many funeral plan providers now offer ‘simple’ plans which consist of a direct cremation. A pre-paid funeral plan also allows you to pay for the plan in a way that is affordable to you, this can either be in full when you take out the plan or in monthly instalments. A funeral plan also allows you to document your exact funeral wishes so that when the time comes your loved ones do not spend money unnecessarily on a service that you did not wish for.
Don’t be ashamed to ‘shop around’
Even though people may be opposed to the idea of finding a cheaper price for your funeral, with many people not even getting a second quote or opinion on the price of the funeral directors’ services, this means that a lot end up spending more than they could have. There is an unnecessary shame around trying to cut costs for your or your loved one’s funeral as you obviously want to give them the best send off, but the best does not always mean the most expensive.
Omit or replace the ‘extras’
Extras such as limousines, flowers and food can significantly increase the cost of the funeral when provided by the funeral directors. Many people now choose to organise their own food or flowers for the service and the wake to reduce costs, and some even choose to travel in their own vehicles rather than paying for a limousine.