Dying on a Budget

Man in funeral standing next to casket

Everything has a cost – even dying is expensive. Statistics from the reports of prominent insurance companies, such as the SunLife Cost of Dying Report of 2017 and the Royal London National Funeral Cost Index Report of the same year, show that the average cost of a funeral has exceeded £4,000. With large numbers of people in low paid jobs, this figure can be unrealistic.

A culture of low pay is widespread across the UK as many workers receive less than £9 an hour in their job. While people on benefits are blamed for Britain’s financial crisis, only around 10% of those receiving benefits do so because they are unemployed. Most receive them to top up wages that are too low.

The situation has become so bad for British families that one in 14 adults have to resort to using emergency food banks when the kitty runs out. It is unsurprising, then, that when a bereavement occurs, there may not be enough funds to cover a funeral.

The Funeral without Frills

One answer to this problem is to book a direct cremation. A direct cremation involves taking the body from the morgue straight to the crematorium, where it is cremated without a funeral service. This way, those left behind can avoid embalming fees, expensive transportation, celebrant fees and the cost of a reception. A no-service funeral may cost as little as £1000.

This type of funeral is also chosen for other reasons. Some people don’t have any surviving family, while others dislike the morbidity of a traditional funeral service and don’t want churches, cemeteries or mourners dressed in black. For them, a direct cremation provides a simple and fuss-free way to make an exit.

Pre-Paid Funerals

Affordable funeral plans provide another option. For a modest monthly fee, policyholders can pre-pay for their own funeral. A simple funeral plan could include transportation to the morgue, care and dressing of the body, an opportunity to visit at a chapel of rest, a simple coffin, transportation to the crematorium and a service for family and friends.

One’s dying doesn’t have to put the family in debt. With a funeral plan or direct cremation, you can have a decent funeral for less.