Many people start organising a funeral with very little idea of what it might cost, so we’ve outlined the main elements you might want to consider when drawing up your budget.
The Royal London’s National Funeral Cost Index found the average funeral in 2017 now costs £3,784, compared to £3,675 in 2016. But what do these costs cover, and is it possible to make savings?
Whatever type of funeral arrangements you choose, costs can vary even within the same location. But by sourcing quotes from more than one funeral director and looking at cost-effective alternatives, it is possible to make savings.
How to reduce the cost of a funeral
Cremation or burial?
The recent National Funeral Cost Index examined the difference in cost for burials and cremations, finding the average cost for a burial is £4,257 while average cost for a cremation is £3,311. A direct cremation, where the body is collected from a mortuary during working hours and cremated at a convenient time, could help save you more. It helps to think of this option as a scaled back version of a cremation. There is no ceremony beforehand, but you can collect the ashes and hold a ceremony at a place and later date of your choosing.
Funeral director or no funeral director?
Arranging the funeral yourself instead of using a funeral director can be another way to save money, although keep in mind the important role a funeral director can play in ensuring the ceremony goes smoothly and offering support and guidance during a difficult time.
The National Funeral Cost Index found funeral expenses can vary greatly on a regional level and on a local level, so shop around and compare quotes when it comes to selecting your funeral director, caterer and florist. We can help put you in touch with reputable funeral directors in your local area.
Ask for help
Following a death, it’s likely that people around you will want to offer their help. Take them up on the offer of help by asking friends and family to assist with food and drink for after the ceremony. Someone might even be able to offer their home as a venue for people to gather after the funeral.
In the UK, there is no legal requirement to use a coffin at a funeral, however, the law requires that the body must be covered in a public area and most crematoriums will expect you to use a coffin or a shroud. Opting for a shroud means simply laying piece of fabric over the body, and this can be decorated with flowers and other mementoes. Low-cost coffin options include veneer and chipboard, and biodegradable material such as willow, and cardboard.
Natural burial ground
This style of burial can often be cheaper than a traditional cemetery. To find a natural burial ground, visit the Natural Death Centre website.
The cost of cremation can be lowered by picking a less popular time slot, for example an early morning or a weekday. In addition, council-run crematoriums tend to be cheaper than private crematoriums.
Remember that you can still create a beautiful ceremony that gives the deceased a respectful tribute and offers friends and family a chance to say goodbye without spending lots of money.
Our online comparison tool is a great way to understand the costs and make contact with funeral directors in your area