Like a marriage, a funeral can be one of the biggest financial expenses faced by families. And often those expenditures are driven by emotion and a wish to respect the deceased, rather than for financial reasons.
But, no matter how much money you spend, nothing is going to be able to bring your loved ones back. That’s why it’s so important to see funeral expenses in the way that you would see any other consumer expense. In your local area, for instance, there are probably many services to choose from, each with their own pricing and level of expertise.
In the past, there wasn’t much competition in the funeral business. Few businesses offered itemized accounts of their services and usually offered bundled deals. But now, competition in the funeral business is hotting up. New players, like Costco and Walmart, are throwing in their oar and opening up the market. This is leading to lower prices and more options for consumers.
If you’ve recently suffered the loss of a loved one, the following tips are for you.
Take Your Time
When a loved one dies, there’s no need to take immediate action. If they’ve passed away in a hospice or a home, ask the staff at the home to bear with you while you make your arrangements and decisions. If they’ve died at home, you aren’t under pressure to move them straight away. You don’t have to call a funeral service within the hour. There is plenty of time for you to pause and focus on your own emotions before moving on to the task of planning a funeral.
Ask For Feedback From Your Local Community
Big corporations rarely run funeral services. Often, they’re family-run affairs stretching back generations. That means there’s frequently a lot of choice and a lot of feedback that can be gathered from the community. Ask around and find out more about the experiences of others using particular services.
Shop Until You Drop
Whether you’re looking for a Mausoleum or a simple casket, make sure that you shop around for the best deals. Prices often vary by large amounts, depending on the supplier. And so it’s worth finding out whether you’re able to make a saving for a similar level of service.
Of course, the better the service, the more you’re likely to pay. But this should be a personal decision and one that was planned in advance.
Ask For A Price List
It’s always important to find out where your money is being spent. In the US, funeral service providers have to provide a price list by law. Look at the price list and ask whether all of the items are necessary expenses and whether your loved one would have appreciated the additions.
Start Saving Early
Often, the process of death can be a long one. This is a tragedy. But it’s also an opportunity for you to begin saving for a funeral. If you expect a loved one will die in the coming months or years, start saving today by putting a little money aside each month.
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