Blog

Understanding Your Total Funeral Bill

Funeral expenses really consist of three separate pieces:

    • the services and merchandise provided by the funeral home
    • the costs and services to dispose of the body or cremains (i.e. ashes) at the cemetery or elsewhere
    • the cost to purchase and install some type of memorial (i.e. headstone, marker, monument)

Even if you end up paying for all three pieces through the funeral home, it’s best to break the cost of a funeral down into the above-three categories.

When estimating your TOTAL funeral costs, you must add all three pieces together. I think this is by far the best way to plan a funeral because it allows you to isolate and prioritize the goods and services that are most important to you.

What Costs Are Associated With a Traditional Funeral Service?

This post provides price ranges for many of the items associated with a traditional funeral service.  Reviewing these considerations will help you identify the type of funeral service most appropriate for your budget.

A traditional funeral service can cost nearly $10,000

While the average funeral costs nearly $7,500, many traditional funerals cost in excess of $10,000.  Here are the main components typically associated with a traditional funeral:

    • casket: $2,300
    • funeral director’s basic services fee: $1,400
    • embalming and body preparation: $600
    • viewing / visitation ceremony: $400
    • funeral ceremony: $450
    • transportation (pick up body, limousine, and hearse): $625
    • miscellaneous (certificates, permits, music, clergy, obituary, register book, service folders, obituary, flowers): $500
    • grave site $1,000
    • fee to dig grave site $500
    • headstone $1,500

The above costs represent national averages for many of the costs associated with a traditional funeral service.  Your actual costs could be higher (or lower) based upon geographic location, the funeral home you select, and the actual items you purchase.

If you would like to save money the next time you need to make funeral arrangements, you can search and compare local funeral home pricing at Parting.com.

Find trusted funeral homes near you to compare quality and prices

Consider More Affordable Funeral Suppliers

Sometimes it makes more sense to buy certain funeral items from someone other than the funeral home handling your service.  These other suppliers usually offer more reasonable prices than the typical funeral home.

Make an effort to locate other sources that sell funeral merchandise

See what they charge for the items you're thinking about buying.  Even if you don’t buy from someone else, just knowing that less-expensive options exist can often get your funeral home to give you a big discount to remain competitive.

Moving When You’re Mourning: Relocation After a Loved One’s Death

This article previously appeared on the Sparefoot.com Moving Blog

When someone you share a home with dies, your grieving process can become even more complicated if you’re dealing with a potential move.

Motivational speaker Carole Brody Fleet, author of “Happily Even After: A Guide to Getting Through (and Beyond) the Grief of Widowhood,” faced this decision after the death of her husband, Mike Fleet, in 2000. Mike had suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Not only was she living in an area that was in decline, but Fleet had emotional reasons for finding a new home.

“Living with all of the wonderful memories combined with the memory of him dying at home proved to be overwhelming,” she said.

If you’re thinking of making this type of move, consider these four pieces of advice for overcoming the logistical and emotional challenges.

In conjunction with National Moving Day, which in 2015 falls on May 26, SpareFoot is sharing various stories about people who’ve moved amid life-changing events. This story focuses on relocating after the death of a loved one.