As the cost of funerals continues to rise, more and more Americans choose to go the route of cremation. While this method comes with its own unique set of costs, choosing cremation over a traditional burial can save families thousands of dollars. On average, American’s spend anywhere from seven to more than ten thousand dollars on a traditional funeral. In contrast, cremations can range from a few hundred to three thousand. Where do these costs come from and how can you save while still honoring your recently departed? Here are a few tips to understand and save on the costs of cremation.

Funeral service breakdown

Before delving into the cost-effective nature of cremation, it’s prudent to compare the cost of a more traditional route. In order to host a funeral service, there are a wide variety of steps that need to be taken. Each of these planning moments come with their own price tags from embalming and cosmetic fees to casket purchases and everything in between.

The first steps to planning a funeral are the preparations for viewings. Many families choose to provide their families and friends with open-casket viewings in order to say their final farewells. In these instances, funeral homes will perform an embalming and apply cosmetic touches in order to preserve the appearance of the departed. On top of these fees, are the cost of flowers, a funeral home in which to hold the viewing, casket/coffin expenses, headstone charges, and cemetery charges.

On top of the financial burden of funerals comes the stress of planning. It’s common for a family to overspend on funeral arrangements strictly due to the emotional distress occurring during the time of decision-making. Many families make rash decisions in order to have things done in a timely manner without taking the time to weigh various factors, get second opinions, or research various companies before choosing the one that’s right. Decisions must be made about coffins/caskets, flower arrangements, headstone wording, eulogy writing, cemetery plot locations, and plenty more. 

Cremation

Choosing cremation as an alternative to a funeral can cut down on costs while still respectfully honoring the deceased. Providers such as Heritage Cremation are available to aid families through every step of the process, from the transportation of the deceased to the memorial services chosen by loved ones. Services can be uniquely planned with the customizations either set in place in advance by a loved one who has passed or by their family and friends.

The cost of cremation comes from transportation, death certificate fees, containers for the ashes, and memorial services. In comparison to the thousands of dollars spent on funerals, these fees can add up to as little as seven hundred dollars with customizations to fit a family’s budgetary needs.

In opposition to funeral planning, planning for a cremation has far less stress involved. Once the crematorium receives the necessary information, aid is given until the final step. The family responsible for decision making only has to choose which urn or other container they would like the cremains to be placed inside of before completing the necessary steps with the crematorium. Some families also choose to hold an open-casket viewing before the cremation process for final goodbyes, which can be planned and executed by the funeral home.

Whether the intention is to reduce cost or to avoid stress, choosing cremation over a traditional funeral is increasingly favored all across the US. Working with a crematorium and funeral home to arrange these final steps can be the stress-removing decision to respectfully and peacefully say the last goodbyes to loved ones. 

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