We all enjoy saving money in different areas of life, death is not different. Last year I wrote this article about what to do when the unexpected happens. Today I wanted to extend this idea with saving money in general with someone dies. It is a hard topic to consider, but at some point we will be faced with planning for someone’s death. Here are some things to consider if you are.
Cremation Vs. Burial
When we consider what do to with the body after death, the difference between cremation and burial is significant. You can choose to buy an urn at the funeral home or buy one online. If you are not interested in extravagance, you can even buy a large enough container at the market, just verify the size before choosing your piece.
According to this article the average costs for cremation here in the United States can be between $800-$4,000. Even if you choose to cremate you can choose burial for the cremains. This obviously would include the actual burial costs, but would also you give you options. Burial alone can cost between $1,000 to $4,000 for the plot. The average cost for a casket in the United States is $1924. The average cost of a headstone is $1,500.
All these expenses go into the consideration of burial versus cremation. Again, if you choose to do cremation and burial you will need to expect some of the same costs.
Donating Your Body
If you’re not aware, you can choose to donate your body to science. This option has some restrictions depending on cause of demise and other factors. It is a really good option though when wanting to cut costs for post mortem care. You will want to look at the options in your individual state because they do vary. This website gives you a step by step process in making a whole body donation. This option will generally cover most of the costs making it really financially friendly. A word of caution, if you are concerned where they might send tissue or DNA, please check with the company because they might send it internationally. My grandfather was donated and it was a really great experience for his widow and the rest of the family involved. It’s definitely something to consider if you’re on a tight budget.
Finally, if you are wanting to have a funeral consider making it more intimate rather than lavish. Consider having someone open their home for the funeral rather than a funeral home. You can still put together things like slide shows and open the floor for sharing stories in a more personal setting.
Consider making it a potluck and have those attending bring a dish they love to share. This should be a time of reflection and community, it doesn’t have to have all the bells and whistles.
Having a loved one die is a stressful time. It can be a financial burden as well. Consider staying on a smaller budget with things like having a cremation and no burial or having a small, intimate funeral held at someone’s home. Honoring the dead doesn’t need to break the bank, especially if you have time to plan it in advance.
What about you, have you planned for your death? What do you plan to do?