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How to Plan an Affordable Memorial Service

A funeral or memorial service can get expensive very quickly, but things like using a low cost cremation service will make it easier to honor your loved one.
low cost cremation

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Low Cost Cremation Services and Other Ways to Afford a Funeral

Have you lost someone you love? Dealing with the arrangements can be hard, especially when you’re dealing with your own grief. Add to that a low budget for funeral services, and you may feel overwhelmed.

This article can help. With tips for low cost cremation and keeping other costs low, you can honor your loved one in an elegant, respectful way without going over budget. Take a look.

Compare Funeral Costs

The average cost of a funeral is between $6,000 and $10,000. While some people have death benefits, insurance, or other sources to fund such expenses, many do not. If your loved one didn’t already have end-of-life plans or burial plots they purchased ahead, it can be a budget struggle to pay for funeral costs and associated fees.

Some costs are fixed, like the state taxes and permit fees. These vary from state to state but they’re part of the process. Other choices can change the costs you’ll have to pay. If you’re looking for low cost funeral options, the FTC has a checklist that can help you think through all the possible expenses.

By comparing the costs at different venues, you’ll be able to choose the right place within your budget to suit your loved one’s wishes. 

Choose a Partner

While you want to honor your loved one, it can be difficult to temper those desires with the reality of a budget. Having someone else there with you as you make decisions will reduce the chances of making emotional spending choices.

Consider the person you ask carefully. While you may feel obligated to choose certain people because of their relationship to the deceased, also keep in mind that you’re the one making decisions. Ask someone who will help you make those decisions and support you without bringing their own agenda or judging your choices.

Another way to help avoid emotional decisions is to give yourself time to process. While funerals can’t wait very long, it might help to examine the options and give yourself a day (or even a few hours) between your first meeting and your decision. That way you can balance fulfilling your loved one’s last wishes and holding a low cost memorial.

Consider DIY Options

Do you know anyone who makes videos? Ask them if they’ll put together a memorial video at a reduced rate because of your relationship. Other ways to DIY a funeral are:

  • Asking for help putting together the meal, rather than having it catered
  • Asking a loved one to give the eulogy, rather than asking a minister
  • Asking a computer or graphics expert to design and print the program

The funeral provider will inform you (it’s required by law) which items you must purchase according to federal regulations. Beyond that, you can choose any casket you want, even if you don’t get it from the funeral provider. They can’t refuse it or charge you a fee to handle it.

You can also choose not to provide your own casket or urn. In the absence of an urn, cremains (the ashes of your deceased loved one) will return to you in a sealed plastic bag. This is one way to maintain low funeral expenses.

Be sure you know your other rights with regard to The Funeral Rule, a law the FTC enforces that governs funeral arrangements and proceedings. Then you’ll be able to make an informed decision and keep your costs low.

Low Cost Cremation May Be Cheapest

Cremation is often the lowest cost option for funeral services. If you choose not to have a viewing or traditional burial, you don’t have to pay for the embalming of the body. This significantly lowers your costs.

Typical caskets start around $2000, and caskets of finer materials can cost as much as $7000.

When you’re searching for Texas cremation services be sure you find out the different types. There are environmentally friendly ways of cremating your loved one’s body via traditional flame, as well as even more green types of cremation like water cremation.

With water cremation, the funeral provider uses water and lye or alkaline solution to break down the body’s proteins. When the process is finished, only the bones remain. They’re pulverized then returned to the family, like ashes are during traditional cremation.

There’s no DNA remaining for identification, and it’s a green process requiring only 300 gallons of water (about one person’s water usage over 3 days).

Other Ways to Save Money

In some cases, it’s possible to have the costs of funeral services paid for by third parties.

For example, even if your loved one didn’t have insurance, they may have wished to donate their body to science. In this case, the scientific organization will pay for the costs of cremation, as well as transportation costs. This is a way to honor your loved one’s wishes and make a contribution to the health of future generations.

Another option is to have the body cremated now and wait until later to hold any services. With the global pandemic, it can be tough to hold a meaningful service in between travel restrictions and quarantine requirements. If you wait, you can defer some of those costs and save up over time to pay for them.

Still another way to find help with funeral service costs is if your loved was was a veteran. Veterans are entitled to free burial services. Others related to the veteran are also entitled to this benefit, including spouses and dependent children.

Other civil servants that support the military may also have the right to these benefits. Find out more at the National Cemetery Administration’s website.

You can delay putting a headstone at the gravesite. It can be expensive to have a headstone made, and waiting to put one in can be a way to save up for the expense. During the pandemic, there have been delays in getting headstones made anyway, so waiting until later may make sense in certain cases.

Honoring Your Loved One

When you want to honor your loved one’s last wishes and you have a budget, low cost cremation can be the right avenue to take. Whether you’re planning this alone or with a supportive partner, consider the tips above to help you through the process.

For more help with cremation choices and funeral planning, contact us 24/7 or check out the rest of our website.

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Marlaena Gonzales

Funeral Director
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