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It’s a financially smart idea to start planning a funeral long before anyone in your family is even ill. Money saving tips for planning a funeral are easier to realize when you plan ahead because everyone can think clearly and rationally rather than making hurried and emotional buying decisions when suddenly faced with funeral planning tasks after the death of a loved one.

Cremation rather than traditional burial can save money and can still include a memorial service. Ask if you can rent a casket for the purposes of viewing the body, or eliminate the viewing altogether as a cost saving step and have the cremated ashed in an urn displayed during the memorial service.

Comparison shop for a casket because quality and pricing is very wide ranging. You can purchase a casket from an independent vendor who will then ship it to the funeral home. If you purchase the casket at the funeral home, don’t be afraid to ask to see caskets within your price range. If you don’t like the color of an economy model, ask if other colors or styles are available.

Supplying the funeral home with your own casket can save you money. Be aware that the funeral home may not charge you a handling fee for providing your own casket. Refuse any casket extras billed as protective measures because they are usually unnecessary and add to your expense. Unless a concrete vault is required by law once the casket is interred in a cemetery, do not purchase this feature as it can add unnecessary expenses to your overall funeral costs.

You are not obligated to buy a funeral package that includes many features you may not want. The funeral director is obligated by FTC regulation to give you itemized prices on all funeral elements, whether in person or on the phone, so you can see exactly all of the charges being incurred and the exact cost for each item or service.

Elaborate floral displays can represent a considerable funeral expense, so to save money, use the plants and floral displays already located in the church or funeral home, or set a modest floral budget and stick with it. Bury the deceased in a favorite outfit rather than spending extra money to purchase a new suit or dress for burial.

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