Saving Money On A Funeral

By: Daryl Berry
Thursday, January 11, 2018

“We worry about what we are not prepared for.”  I found this quote scribbled on a piece of paper buried on my desk the other day.  I don’t remember if it was something I had heard or if it was an original thought I had jotted down so I could use it in a future ad.  Whatever the case, isn’t it true, “We worry about what we are not prepared for”.  Unfortunately, many people do not worry enough about planning for the unavoidable.

Many are diligent about planning for events or purchases that they are going to make.  For example, they save by putting money aside in a Christmas Club account to pay for Christmas gift giving.  At one time housewives would hide money in a cookie jar to save for some future expense.  My point is that at one time most people saved for things in a variety of ways because that was the expected thing to do.  Today’s society is wired differently, we have been conditioned to buy and then pay over time after the purchase.  This works for most things but is not a good plan for funeral expenses.  Why not?  No collateral.  You don’t make your car payment, they’ll come get your car.  Repossessing a funeral presents a problem, it can’t be done. 

I’ve heard it touted that a funeral is the third most expensive purchase that a family would make in their lifetime, behind a home and a vehicle.  I can think of several purchases more expensive than a funeral that I’ve made in my lifetime, like a boat, a wedding and a family vacation to Disney World, to name a few. 

Occasionally, an unexpected windfall allows us to make a major purchase but other big ticket items call for planning by saving or budgeting to make payments on borrowed funds.  Most major purchases are optional but one everyone can count on is their own funeral or that of a loved one. 

At one time there was an abundance of insurance agents selling relatively small life insurance policies meant to cover “final expenses”.  I bought my first life insurance policy when a high school acquaintance approached me while I was in college.  I don’t think there are as many agents out there these days selling final expense insurance.  I hear the emphasis is more on selling larger policies since it doesn’t take as many sales to make a living.  Many people do not plan to fail when it comes to making such plans, they simply fail to plan.  Thus they do not seek out life insurance that would provide a systematic way of planning for the inevitable funeral in their life.

Increasingly we see people that are having to try to figure out they are going to pay for a loved one’s funeral because their loved one didn’t do it for them.  They end up settling for something less than what they would like simply because they have insufficient funds set aside and no life insurance.

One reason funerals cost as much as they do is because well intentioned people failed to make the payments they promised to make in such cases.  Much like medical expenses, higher prices are charged to those that can pay to make up for those that don’t.  Funeral homes simply cannot borrow money to make unsecured loans to their clients which is essentially what we do if we settle for payments on funeral bills.  Our goal is to get paid for our services, so we can keep our prices as low as possible.

We do all we can to keep funerals as affordable as possible.  We provide comfortable, well decorated facilities without the extravagance that would drive up costs.  We pay our suppliers on time so that we get the best discounts possible to keep funeral merchandise prices as low as we can.   We offer significant discounts for those able to pay up front since it allows us to receive the best discounts. Check out our website to see our most affordable funeral service packages.

One way that many are trying to save money on a funeral is by shortening visitation to just the same day as the funeral service.  I hate to see this because it keeps people from being able to express their sympathy to the family because they can’t take off work on a weekday.  I feel so strongly about this that beginning now, we are reducing our service charge to the same day cost, a savings of over $400.  In essence, the price will be the same for having a visitation the night before as it would be to have everything the same day.  You can still choose to have a same day service but does not have to be for you to save money.

What about cremation to save money?  Cremation can save you some because it is a less expensive form of final disposition.  You can have a traditional visitation and funeral and still save money because it generally costs less to cremate than to bury. Having a cremation followed by a memorial service is another less expensive option that will allow your friends and family to have a time of remembrance.   

While I personally feel that every life is worthy of being celebrated there is a less expensive disposition of a human remains, which can either be direct burial or direct cremation.  In its most simple form, we can assist with a direct cremation for around $1,300 where the process is strictly a form of function with no ceremony or private viewing.

What to do if you haven’t planned?  Start now.  You are never too old to start, but believe me, insurance is much more affordable the younger you are.  Start paying what you can, anything you set aside will help the ones you will behind.  We can assist you with this, but you can certainly seek out life insurance from an agent of your choice while you are insurable.  The worst time to try to get insurance is after you have been diagnosed with a life shortening illness.

But what if you are faced with an imminent death and there is limited funds in the short term?  I invite you to talk with us before making a decision based on a preconceived notion that you must go elsewhere to save money. We are compassionate people and will help when we can. We will tell you how we can help and explain your options.  You may need to settle for limited services and merchandise as we do not wish to burden anyone with a debt they can’t pay.


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