Five easy ways to cut thousands off the average funeral cost

The average funeral now costs from £4,184 – but you can bring that down to just £950.

Experts have warned that Brits’ tendency to avoid discussing death means a funeral often costs more than it needs to.

The revelation comes as a new report from SunLife shows the average cost of funeral has risen for the 17th year.

Now hovering at just above £4,000 planning and paying for a funeral can become an unwelcome addition of stress at the time of bereavement.

However, experts at Low Cost Funeral point out that around 75 per cent of costs can be avoided while still making the service more memorable, personal and poignant.

CEO Howard Hodgson said: “Planning a loved one’s funeral carries a lot of pressure as we all want to make sure they get the best funeral service possible.

“However, the expenses can quickly add up, with factors such as flowers, hearses, limousines, wakes and other factors to consider.

“Often, the deceased will have wanted a low-cost funeral to avoid putting the family under financial pressure.

“However, when the time comes the family nearly always wants something more memorable.“It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to arrange a funeral, but you need to know what you are looking for.

“You then need to take a step back and consider what is truly necessary and what isn’t.”

Low Cost Funeral has come with a checklist to ensure you’re not paying more than you really need to.

Top five tips to arrange a cheaper funeral

1 Consider a direct cremation

Rock legends John Lennon and David Bowie brought direct cremations into the headlines when they indicated they wanted a no-frills send-off. Forgoing a funeral service and carrying out a cremation with no mourners present is a low-cost option, with prices from just £950.

2 Consider having an attended service by meeting at the crematorium

It is quite possible to arrange a service where you arrive at the crematorium in your own cars, thereby saving on the cost of a hearse. You can have a 40 minute service of your choosing – with your eulogies, revolving personal photographs, your loved one’s favourite music, web streaming for those who can’t attend and prayers too if you want them. Prices for this type of celebration can be around £1,999.

3 Scale back on the coffin and the flowers

Coffins can be one of the biggest contributors to the funeral bill, with options ranging from solid wood to metal caskets. On the more affordable range of the spectrum, chipboard and cardboard coffins are becoming more popular due to financial and environmental considerations.
Extravagant floral displays are a common feature of funerals, with some mourners seeing them as a last chance to express their affection for the deceased. However, they are an expensive and short-lived accessory.

4 Carry out the wake at home

A wake is usually held to thank people for attending and to give mourners the opportunity to gather together and grieve before or after the funeral. These are sometimes held at hotels, restaurants or funeral homes. However, using the family home instead can be a more personal and affordable option.

5 Let friends and family do the catering

Furthermore, forgoing professional catering and allowing family and friends to help with the catering means avoiding another bill and gives well-wishers the opportunity to contribute and feel involved.

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