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5 Ways to Reduce Funeral Expenses

January 8, 2020

These days, a funeral can cost upwards of $15,000, but even the less expensive funerals can be more than some families can afford. No one really wants to think about their funeral, but by planning ahead, there are ways to cut costs and reduce the financial burden. At Perth Cremations, our motto is people before profits, meaning we are committed to offering personalised low-cost funerals that beautifully celebrate life in an affordable way. Let’s take a look at a few practical ways that you can reduce your funeral costs.

Understand the Costs Involved

The first step of planning for your funeral is to make sure you understand the main costs involved. This way, you will know the right questions to ask when meeting with funeral companies and help you understand where you might be able to negotiate fees and save money.

  • Professional Services Fee – this covers the arrangement of the funeral, such as meeting with the family and organising the venue, newspaper notices, death certificates, celebrants and other third parties
  • Transfer Fee – transportation of the deceased to the funeral home
  • Mortuary Care Fee – storage and preparation of the body
  • Viewing Fee – visitation of the deceased before the funeral
  • Third-Party Fees – any services supplied by third parties, such as celebrants, musicians, flowers, newspaper notices, venue hire and catering

Choose a Cremation Instead of a Burial

With current cemeteries filling up and with limited space for new cemeteries within our cities, the cost of burial plots has increased dramatically over the past 10 years. This means cremations can be significantly cheaper than burials, as you don’t need to enter the remains into a cemetery. Avoiding the cost of the burial plot, choosing a cremation also means you don’t have to pay for opening and closing fees, a grave liner or a headstone, these are each significant costs in their own right. It’s easy to see why in Australian cities, cremations now account for almost 70% of all funerals.

Learn About Coffins

Coffins, or caskets, can cost between $300 for a simple cremation capsule through to $10,000 and more for a premium top-of-the-range casket. While coffins do need to meet certain standards to be accepted at crematoria and burial grounds, they do not need to cost a small fortune. Ask to see the coffin price list and get your funeral director to explain their cheapest options. Don’t be drawn to products based on how comforting they sound, a ‘protective’ casket equipped with a rubber gasket that’s marketed to protect the body from the elements once it’s in the ground may sound tempting but is a completely unnecessary cost. It’s important to know that you don’t have to pick a coffin from the funeral home you’re working with, you can buy a coffin online and have it delivered. You can even rent a casket in some funeral homes, this will allow you to use a higher-end casket for the ceremony, and have the body cremated in a simpler and cheaper casket.

Keep the Service Simple

Work with your funeral director to cut expenses where you can. Remember, you aren’t required to purchase a funeral home’s complete package so only choose only the goods and services that fit your budget and needs. How much you do and how much a funeral home does for you is completely your choice. You could have the funeral home do the main things such as transport the body, store it in a mortuary and organise with the crematorium or burial ground while you do all the ceremonial elements. Generally speaking, the simpler the service, the more affordable it will be.

Skip the Extras

When it comes to funerals, there are many non-essential items that are on offer, while they might appear as smaller costs, they can really add up to a significant amount. Such things include:

  • Flowers – instead of full floral arrangements for the coffin and service adorn the coffin with a single rose or a photo.
  • Embalming – this procedure is only legally required if the body is to be buried above ground in a vault or mausoleum.
  • Funeral cars and limousines – skip the funeral cars to transport to drive the family around and arrange for other family members or friends to drive.
  • Newspaper Notices – with the rise of social media, newspaper notices are becoming more redundant. Skip the newspaper notices altogether and ask for the details of the funeral to be shared online.

Funerals are expensive, but you can make some sensible decisions and save yourself thousands of dollars on funeral expenses. If you are wanting to plan a low-cost funeral, contact the compassionate and experienced team at Perth Cremations today. Now recognised as the number one funeral home in Perth, our family-run business offers low-cost funeral packages starting at just $1495 + cemetery fee. Contact us today to find out more.

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