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How to Shop Around

The death of a loved one undoubtedly brings emotional strain, but for many people in the UK, it can also lead to a significant financial burden.

Royal London’s 2017 National Funeral Cost Index placed the average cost of a funeral at £3,784. With many of the expenses associated with funerals often needing to be paid up front (or sometimes within 30 to 60 days), this can lead to additional stress at an already difficult time.

Nevertheless, with some careful planning and by comparing funeral prices, it is possible to drive down the cost of saying goodbye so it doesn’t become a financial headache.

Choosing a funeral director

One of the first steps most people take when they lose a friend or family member is appointing a funeral director. Their services may be expensive, making this one area where you really should be looking at saving yourself some money.

In some respects, you should approach your choice of funeral director in much the same way you would any major financial purchase – by getting a selection of quotes. You could prioritise those who are a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) or the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF), as they’re required to abide by certain standards.

Independent funeral directors can offer a more cost-effective service than some of the national chains. Again, comparing quotes from funeral directors will help make sure you’re not paying too much.

Once you have all the figures in front of you, it’s a good idea to see exactly what is included for the price you have been quoted. This will help keep any unexpected costs to a minimum, therefore helping to reduce some of the financial strain.

Make wise choices

When shopping around for funeral prices, it can be useful to ask yourself these key questions: Is this element really necessary? Can I really afford it?

Little extras such as brass handles on a coffin or overly elaborate flower displays can set you back hundreds of pounds. Compare funeral quotes to see exactly what you are getting for your money and decide whether it is really necessary. Would the send-off be just as fitting without these extra expenses?

Traditionally, friends and family gather for a wake once the ceremony has ended. This doesn’t have to be an elaborate event – a few drinks at a local pub or catering at home can be a good way to bring down the cost of a funeral.

Costs you can’t avoid

Although you can bring down the cost of a funeral in some ways, there are some expenses you simply won’t be able to avoid – cremation and burial fees are examples of this. Sunlife estimates the average cost of a cremation stands in the region of £3,596, while a burial will cost around £4,561.

This makes it even more important to shop around for funeral quotes, as there are plenty of aspects of a funeral you will have financial control over. Making cutbacks in these areas can ensure you don’t face financial hardship in the long run.