There are a number of factors that are going to go into determining how much a funeral costs. In 2013, the average funeral is going cost between $7,000.00 and $10,000.00. This general estimate is going to include the cost of funeral home services, a burial plot at a cemetery, and the installation and cost of the headstone. In the last several years, cremation has been growing in popularity, but the traditional burial still remains the preferred method of burying a dead loved one.

Two of the biggest factors that are going to go into determining the cost of a funeral are geographic location and the type of funeral home that conducts the services. However, here are several ballpark figures of what a person can expect to pay:

A funeral director’s services: $1,500.00
Casket costs (on average): $2,300.00
Cost of embalmment: $600.00
The cost of hosting funeral services at an actual funeral home: $500.00
Grave site cost: $1,000.00
Grave digger’s fees: $500.00
Cost of a grave liner: $1,000.00
Headstone costs: $1,500.00

Once again, these are just general ballpark figures, but the total of these fees would be $9,000.00. This figure does even begin to cover the little extras, like the cost of placing obituaries in the papers. Flowers can significantly add to the cost of a funeral. In the United States, the average cremation service cost around $4,000.00. The stark reality is that cemetery and funeral home services are a required expense, and it can quickly become quite costly. In a 2010 survey, conducted by the National Funeral Directors Association, the average cost of a funeral was $7,750.00, but as with all things, inflation has driven this average cost up.

The good news is that a funeral does not have to be expensive for it to have meaning. Funeral funds should be allocated to the things that would have more meaning to the deceased. For example, he or she may have wished to be buried in a casket, but if this was not specified in their burial instructions, then you could choose to rent a casket for visitation purposes and opt to have the deceased interred in a mausoleum or crypt.

The key to managing funeral expenses is to plan in advance. This provides a person with plenty of time to consider their options and to compare prices on different funeral homes and services.