People at funeral consoling each other

Funerals Are Expensive, But They Don’t Have To Be

No one likes to think about their loved ones dying, but the more you think ahead, the better it can be for everyone. Hopefully, your friend or family member has prepared accordingly with a sufficient life insurance or burial policy. These services cost over $6,500 on average, according to the National Funeral Directors Association, but there are some measures you can take to be keep the price down. Check out some tips to cut costs on funeral arrangements below.

1. Comparison Shop

Just like with any other large expense in life, it’s not necessarily a good idea to choose the first option you find. You can look online or call funeral homes directly to get multiple quotes and then pick the best offer. It’s important to make sure you are comparing the same services so be sure to check what is included in each quote.

2. Skip Embalming

If you are having a viewing or visitation ceremony, funeral homes may prefer that you embalm the body. This is not a legal requirement in most states, however. There may be cheaper options that you can consider.

3. Choose a Grave Liner

Most cemeteries require that you get some sort of liner or vault for your grave, which goes into the ground before the burial to prevent the casket from decay and sinking. Liners are made of concrete and only cover the top and sides of the casket. These are almost always hundreds of dollars cheaper than even basic vault options.

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4. Buy a Casket or Urn Elsewhere

By law, funeral homes cannot charge you a fee for using a casket or urn that you purchased elsewhere, and there are hundreds of options to choose from. You can check online or in warehouse stores to find exactly what you want for your loved one at the best price.

5. Avoid Emotional Overspending

There’s no doubt that organizing a funeral is an emotional time. But it’s a good idea to try to keep your feelings from overriding your budget. There are many options for add-ons to the funeral. You may even want to bring another person along that you know you can trust.

It is never easy to lose a loved one, but spending more than you can afford or going into debt for a funeral, possibly hurting their credit and affecting their financial futures (you can check out the lifetime cost of debt here) is probably a memory you don’t want to associate with your loss.

This article originally appeared on Credit.com. This article by AJ Smith was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.

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