How to reduce funeral costs

Piggy bank for funeral costs on wooden table

Looking for ways to reduce funeral costs? The average funeral costs around £4,000 so it’s sensible to look at how to keep costs down.

Use our guide below to see how you can save money on the cost of a funeral.

How to keep funeral costs down

It may feel like you need to plan everything immediately. But there’s no rush to get your plans in place. In fact, if you take the time to look at each part of the funeral in turn you could save on funeral costs. We’ll take you through each part of the process below so you can note down what you’d like and see if it fits your budget.

1. Burial or cremation?

There can be a big difference in price between a burial and cremation. In 2022 the average burial cost was £4,794 and the average cremation cost was £3,673 (SunLife 2023). The costs may be different up and down the UK but by choosing a cremation you could reduce funeral costs.

Your faith or the wishes of the person who died may make this decision for you. But if not, then this is one option you have to save money.

Already made your decision? Here’s how you can cut down on funeral costs whether you choose a cremation or a burial.

Keeping cremation costs down

Keeping burial costs down

2. Traditional or simple funeral?

Traditional funerals can soon add up. They usually include extras like limousines and additional services from the funeral director. So choosing from a price list might be a better option and help you reduce funeral costs. Or you could ask the funeral director (if you’re using one) for their simple funeral package. This is usually a less expensive option but it may not include everything you have in mind. If you don’t want to have a service at all, you could also consider a direct cremation – this is the lowest cost option as there’s no ceremony to arrange.

Are there any other options?

If the person who died didn’t want a fuss and you’re working with a small budget, a direct cremation or burial (also known as an unattended funeral) might be best. This is when there is no service and no one attends. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a memorial or get-together to remember the person who died. You could plan your own memorial service before or after at any venue you like. This could help you save on catering costs and remember the person in a way that’s personal to them.

3. Added extras or no fuss?

Remember that the funeral can be just how you want it to be. There’s no pressure to have flowers or a limousine if that doesn’t suit or if it costs too much. There may be things you can do yourself instead of paying someone, like printing your own order of service. That will help you save on funeral costs and give the person who died the send-off they were expecting. 

Use our list below to help you figure out where you can reduce funeral costs and still organise the send-off you’d like.


4. Use a funeral director or plan it yourself?

In the UK, you’ve got two main options for arranging a funeral. You can either use a funeral director to coordinate it for you, or you can organise everything yourself.

Arranging a funeral yourself

Did you know that you don’t have to use a funeral director to plan a funeral? There’s no legal requirement and it could help you plan a low cost funeral.

Read our guide to organising a funeral yourself and see if it will help you keep costs down.

Finding the right funeral director

If you want to use a funeral director to help you with planning there are some things you can do to help keep costs down.

More help with funeral costs

Reducing costs is one way to make it easier to pay for a funeral. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to get other help too: