No one wants to organise a funeral – because it means you have lost someone that you love.
However, you do want to give your loved one a send off that they deserve, allowing those closest to them the chance to grieve but also to celebrate their life.
But, one thing that might be troubling you is whether you should blow the budget or keep things simple?
Your average funeral isn’t cheap – in fact it might be a lot more expensive than you think and perhaps come as a surprise to hear that it can set you back around £3,702.
This cost can vary quite a bit depending on location and funeral arrangements. In London, for example, the price of a funeral is almost double the national average. You can find out more about the costs involved here. You may also find that money is tight after you have lost a loved one and a costly funeral may not even be an option.
But, ultimately, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to show that you cared about them and to give them the perfect send off.
While a burial using a funeral director will set you back £4,100 and a cremation using a funeral director will cost £3,300 - one option you might want to consider is a ‘direct cremation’ – which will cost about £1,600.
A direct cremation is when the body is sent straight to the cremator from hospital or home, with no attendance or ceremony. You can then organise a ceremony at home or a funeral yourself. However, be aware, that if you wish to have the ashes afterwards, you must request them. Usually you will need to collect these but some may deliver for a charge of around £100.
This type of send-off is chosen by about 2,000 people a year in England and Wales – did you know even David Bowie had a direct cremation?
Finding an affordable funeral can be like fumbling in the dark, doubly difficult in times of bereavement when people don’t exactly make savvy customers, but some organisations are offering helpful tips and practical advice. Quaker Social Action’s ongoing Fair Funerals campaign presses for long-term change in transparency in the industry – you can help by asking your local funeral director to sign here. Their sister project Down to Earth helps with practical advice on how to fund a funeral for those who would struggle with the often astronomical costs.
If you don’t go for the direct cremation you also have the choice of whether to use a funeral director or not.
A funeral director will make it easier for you to arrange the funeral and allow you the time you need to grieve. However, it will also make the funeral much more expensive. In fact it is the most expensive part of the funeral – being over 70% of the cost of a cremation and 55% of a burial funeral, making it an average cost of £2,300.
On the other hand you could arrange it yourself without a funeral director, which would save you more than £1000. However, it will require more effort on your part. There are also third party fees and optional costs that will ultimately change and determine the overall price of the funeral.
It is your loved and one and therefore, obviously, up to you how you choose to say goodbye to them – but, just know that saving money where you can doesn’t mean you are scrimping on their send off.
It is actually a smart move considering the extortionate costs that can come with it.
Written by Sophie Davidson. Photos used with permission from Sophie.