You may love the whole idea of making your funeral arrangements in advance, but you probably will not like the idea of having to take on another expense when trying to pay for the bills that go along with life. If you are in the middle of pre-planning for your funeral and burial services, keep in mind that there are ways to save. Just like every other type of public service, the final bill is largely associated with the options you choose. Here are five ways you can save at least $500 bucks on your funeral and burial services.
1. Skip the Funeral Home Provided Apparel - When you go to the funeral home, you may be given the option to choose your own outfit for the event from a fashionable catalog. While this is convenient, and a bit less morbid than going out to find what you want to wear at the store, it can be more expensive. It is much less expensive to choose a favorite outfit you already have.
2. Avoid Lengthy Services - The average funeral can set you back more than $7,000 as of 2012, and that is if you do not have to purchase a vault. A big chunk of this cost comes from the use of facilities for both visitation and the funeral itself. Consider shortening visitation time or even just having a simple burial service at the graveyard if you want to save some money.
3. Choose a Closed Casket - When you first arrive at a funeral home after you have passed, there will be great measures taken to make you presentable for your friends and family members during the service. You will be embalmed for preservation, your hair will be styled, and your face will be treated to give it a healthy appearance. Choosing a closed casket is a good way to skip this prep work and get you a lower bill.
4. Arrange for Your Own Transportation - Most people do not know that even your final ride in a hearse can be costly. In fact, the National Funeral Director's Association reports that this final form of transportation could cost as much as $295. It is completely legal to choose your own transportation, which may include everything from being pulled by your own horse-drawn carriage to riding on the back of your favorite pickup.
5. Opt for the Right Cemetery - The cemetery you choose could play a big role in your final burial costs. Some will require you to invest in a vault, will make it mandatory that you pay for a certain type of grave marker, and may even require that you be embalmed.
While you are in the process of making your own funeral and burial plans, make sure you keep these five things in mind. Paying for your burial service in advance should not be burdensome, but something that you can tackle and get out of the way for the best interests of your family members.