Grief and Money: Managing the Funeral Expenses of a Loved One


The loss of a loved one can be an extremely challenging time for you and your family. While you may want some time to yourself and your thoughts, it's important to think about the expenses that will incur in the future. 

Funeral expenses can get quite high, so it’s best to consider how to manage them in order to keep them at a minimum. When you don’t need to worry about expensive arrangements, you can savour the cherished memories of your loved one with comfort.

Reducing Funeral Expenses

According to the Funeral Director's Association of New Zealand, most funerals cost between $8,000 and $10,000. Many funeral homes ask families to make most of the payment upfront. Sourcing this kind of money in an instant’s notice can be extremely difficult. 

To help you, our team at MoneyShop has put together a small read on how to reduce funeral expenses. 

Set Up a Fund

Families are often burdened with expensive arrangements if they don’t have any funds to fall back on. A good way to help your family is to plan in advance. Set up a separate funeral fund or trust fund which your loved ones can use when it's needed. 

Take Out Funeral Insurance

Funeral insurance covers the lifetime of the holder and pays lump sum money to the holders’ nominee. The insurance is designed to help the nominee and the holders’ family make proper arrangements when the time comes. The funeral insurance reduces the necessity of a funeral fund. 

Choose Reasonably Priced Arrangements

Funeral homes talk of gasket-caskets, special embalming, and customizable transport as part of the services they offer. While these services may give you solace, they can get extremely expensive. It's better to choose simple caskets if you wish to remain within the budget. For transport, choose a vehicle based on your proximity to the funeral home. 

Families can also consider purchasing the flowers, caskets, urns and any other thing they need from a different vendor and not at the funeral home. 

Consider a Home Funeral

What better way to send-off a loved one than in a place that was familiar and comforting. Home funerals are inexpensive and often touching ways to say goodbye to a loved one. These days, you have funeral directors who specialize in home funerals and they can guide you through these trying times.

Make the wake an intimate affair

Often the costly part of a funeral is the wake. To reduce your expenses, consider holding the wake at home or hiring a smaller venue.