Funeral costs

5 ways to reduce funeral costs

Mere hours after being diagnosed with cancer I began staging my funeral. Apparently this is normal behaviour for cancer patients, even those with hopeful prognoses.

What a hip, swank, wake I envisioned (and whooeee a pricey one!) The flowers and my lavish casket alone would cost more than a used car. I decided to make more modest arrangements, like asking Moby to perform my elegy for free.

Seriously though, funeral costs can easily escalate. And while most people want the bulk of their estate allocated to loved ones, not planning ahead means there’s a better chance of these funds being diverted instead to a costly memorial.

Here’s five ways to reduce spending when planning a funeral:

1. Plan ahead: You’re prone to make rushed, expensive decisions while grief-stricken. If you need help talking to aging parents or a terminally ill person about funeral plans, contact the BC Funeral Association.  They provide many resources for end of life care.

2. Consider off grid locales:  The best memorial I attended was a frugal potluck at someone’s home. It was more personable and much less expensive than a funeral in a traditional venue with a catered reception.  People wanted to share memories (not extravagant meals).

3. Who are your dearly beloved? Most folks, even terrifically extroverted types like me, can count their close family and friends on two hands. To keep things “real” and economical – limit your guest list to sincere mourners. Keep it off Facebook!

4. Scope Deals Online: K…I’m not kidding …there are actually virtual casket depots . You can explore low-cost options on these sites which also have less expensive, unique and cheerful (if that’s what you’d like) cremation urns.

4. Eschew extras:  This is no joke, either. Do you need a lock on your casket or embalming? Surpluses like these will hike your funeral bill.

And in case you’re worried, I’m doing fine. Life is superb now that my cells aint misbehavin’. And I’m still happy I made some plans to take a little pressure (both financially and emotionally) off my family.

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