Myth: A funeral will be expensive

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It doesn’t have to be.

Even if you don’t care about spending less, you may wish to save costs in some areas so you can spend more in other ways.

There are a number of ways to alter spending priorities. For example it is not imperative to have a body embalmed – a cost that can run to $800..  You can also cremate which costs significantly less than burial particularly if you do not inter the ashes in a cemetery. You can instead choose to bury the ashes at home or scatter somewhere meaningful. Nor do you need to spend up big on an expensive casket. In fact, there is no legal requirement to use a casket at all, and you may follow the example of some eastern nations and wrap the body in a simply cloth shroud.

The Great Goodbyes market place offers a selection of beautiful caskets that wont break the bank. Some of the most unique and personal are humbly decorated cardboard caskets – truly one of a kind. You will also find earth friendly bamboo and wicker as well as simple pine.

After the bigger ticket items it’s the numerous small things that can add up, and it’s easy to find you’ve suddenly spent an additional several thousand dollars. Flowers, order of service, hearse hire, engaging a celebrant – it all adds up. If you are looking to cut costs, figure out what you can do without, what you can do yourself, and where friends and family can step in to help.

Catering, transport, flowers, even leading the funeral itself are perfectly suited to some DIY. The more you’re prepared to take on the more affordable the funeral will be. Being more hands-on opens up lots of opportunities to create a truly personalised Great Goodbye – one composed by the people that know your loved one best.

Once you’ve discussed key decisions like body disposition (cremate or bury), and if the casket will be present at the service, use the Great Goodbyes tool to get several quotes. There may not be a big difference in prices, and nor might you choose the cheapest, but it will provide clarity and certainty on what you’re spending.

Keep front and centre that what’s most important is to bring people together. If you’re not up for self catering but want to create time for people to be together after the service, you might ask everyone to bring a plate to a picnic or barbecue. Or perhaps go with a user pays approach at the local pub? Get a great music playlist sorted, shoulder tap a couple of people to share some stories and you’ll have a heartfelt and memorable gathering. In the end, it’s being together that counts. Read through some of our blogs for ideas on how people gave a Great Goodbye a special twist.

Paying for a funeral is an additional stress at an already overwhelming time. Even if the cost has been provided for via the estate, it can take time for these funds to become available. Consider if a personal loan might give your family much needed breathing space until the estate assets are sorted. See our finance vendors in the marketplace.

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