Support Guide

Low cost funerals: funeral planning on a budget

How can we organise a low cost funeral for our loved one while staying faithful to their wishes?


It’s a hugely difficult emotional and financial situation for many families - many of whom have to find an average of £1,981 to make up the cost of their loved one’s funeral, according to 2019 statistics. 9% of people organising a funeral also said they felt pressured into spending more money than they wanted. But funeral planning on a budget - while celebrating our loved one’s life - can be done with the right support.

While you can receive help with funeral costs, there are also many ways that you can reduce these expenses yourself. Here’s how to organise a low cost funeral - one that is faithful to your loved one’s wishes and faithful to your budget.
 

Low cost funerals
While the average cost of a funeral is £4,417, there are many ways to organise a low cost funeral if you’re funeral planning on a budget. These can include reducing the costs of the basic funeral (for example, a direct cremation), or opting for a green or woodland funeral.

Low cost funerals: going green
Green funerals can be a suitable way to organise a low cost funeral. A green funeral - sometimes referred to as a woodland funeral - is an environmentally friendly option. These are low cost funerals as they usually take place in natural burial grounds or designated woodland burial sites, and use biodegradable coffins - usually made from wicker, recycled paper or willow. These can save on costs as they are not usually marked with a headstone, but with flowers or trees. Visit our advice guide on green funerals for more information.

Low cost funerals: direct cremation
Direct cremation is also another way to organise a low cost funeral - and an affordable option not many people are aware of. On average, a direct cremation costs £1,626 - £2,232 cheaper than a standard cremation (which costs £3,858 on average). Essentially, a direct cremation is a cremation with no funeral service - so there is no need for additional expenses like officiant fees or flowers. The body is sent straight to the crematorium and then ashes are given to loved ones to be kept or scattered. But this doesn’t have to mean a less personalised or special celebration: after the body has been cremated, families can choose their own celebration of their loved one’s life.

Children’s funeral costs
If you are organising a funeral for a child, this is a low cost funeral: you will not need to cover the costs of the service. In these circumstances, funeral directors do not charge a professional fee for a coffin, casket or transport - and you will usually be eligible for government assistance. If the child is under 18 at the time of death, or stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy (and the funeral will take place in England), you can receive a Children’s Funeral Fund from the government. This covers burial or cremation fees, the cost of a doctor’s certificate, and the cost of a coffin, shroud or casket up to £300.

 
Funeral planning on a budget
If you are working to a tight budget, there are a range of ways to reduce costs and create a personalised service. Here is our advice on funeral planning on a budget.

Reduce send-off expenses
The send-off - the little extras that make a funeral service special, like flowers or service cards - can quickly become one of the most expensive elements of funeral arrangements. If you’re funeral planning on a budget, this can be an effective method of keeping costs low. Perhaps your loved one was a keen gardener, and so beautiful flower arrangements are the most important part of the service. Or perhaps catering at the wake is less important as your loved one would have preferred a smaller celebration with close family at home. By prioritising certain elements according to your loved one’s preferences, and your family’s traditions, you can reduce expenses without compromising on the quality of the day.

Considering crowdfunding
This is a slightly more unconventional option for funeral planning on a budget, but many families who struggle to raise the funds for their loved one’s funeral are turning to crowdfunding campaigns online via sites like Just Giving or Go Fund Me. By inviting friends or family to chip in, the funeral can be a community-led celebration of your loved one’s life - funded by everybody who loved them.

Compare different funeral directors
Did you know that less than 1 in 5 people get quotes from more than one funeral director? This alone can be the reason many families struggle to find low cost funerals - but price comparison is the most effective method for funeral planning on a budget. This, of course, doesn’t always happen: grieving families want the best for their loved ones, and researching these costs can be upsetting, time consuming, and confusing. This is where Legacy of Lives can step in. We make price comparison easy - and you can receive all quotes in less than 48 hours. Start your plan and get quotes.

Create a payment plan
Creating a funeral payment plan in monthly installments can also be a good way to execute funeral planning on a budget in a way that is faithful to your loved one’s wishes. Many funeral directors will also allow you to pay in installments, making monthly costs more manageable than a lump sum. Create an affordable payment plan with Legacy of Lives today.

 
How can I get help with low cost funerals?
In summary, the best way to plan a low cost funeral is to consider where reducing expenses is a viable option: either in limiting send-off fees, or exploring lower cost options faithful to your loved one’s wishes, like green funerals or direct cremations. The most effective methods, too, involve comparing prices between funeral directors, and creating a manageable payment plan for these costs. At Legacy of Lives, this service is completely free.

Another way to cut funeral expenses is to consider funding or grants from the government or charities - you can take a look at our page on help with funeral costs for these tips.

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