Funerals Don't Have To Break The Bank: 4 Ways You Can Reduce Funeral Costs

As you know, paying for the funeral of a loved one, or even prepaying for your own funeral, can be a costly endeavor. In the midst of grief, the last thing anyone wants to be thinking about is how they're going to scrounge up the money to pay for funeral expenses. And while prepaying the expenses for someone is ideal, it isn't always a reality. Creating a beautiful service for a deceased loved one is important, and fortunately, it can be done without breaking the bank. With the right planning and research, you can find ways to reduce the cost of a funeral, while still honoring your loved ones.

1. Consider cremation. Cremation can be significantly cheaper than a burial. The average cost of cremation in the U.S. is $2000, and a small memorial service is typically included in the cost. The average cost of a full burial service is $7000, but that number can increase quickly because of multiple factors, such as the type of headstone and casket you choose.

2. Take advantage of all your resources. While most life insurance policies don't have specific "funeral costs" payouts, the beneficiary of the deceased will get the general proceeds from the life insurance plan, and some of that money can be used towards funeral costs. While it might be a small amount, the Social Security Administration pays out $255 to the surviving spouse or child to help pay for funeral costs.

3. Donate the body to science. Donating a loved one's body to science, which is different from donating their organs, is clearly an invaluable contribution to science and research, but it also reduces costs. Research facilities will pay for all costs involved, including transportation and a memorial service. They can also cremate the body after their research is done and send you the ashes.

4. Don't fall for a full service packaged funeral. If you opt for a traditional burial service through a funeral home, beware of extra, unnecessary costs they might be charging you. For example, they might be offering their most expensive casket, when you would prefer to have a more modest, inexpensive casket. As a consumer, you have the right to pick and choose which services you want and don't want. By itemizing each charge of a full service funeral, you can have a nice service while also keeping the cost realistic.

Naturally, funerals create an emotional burden, but by doing what you can to reduce costs, you can make the funeral less of a financial burden.