You may feel overwhelmed with planning and financing a funeral considering the average cost of a burial funeral is $7,600 and the average cost of a cremation funeral is around $3,200. Fortunately, you are not alone in this situation. There are many ways to cover all the funeral expenses without ending up in massive debt.
Look to Friends and Family for Support First
If you are having difficulty covering all the cost of the funeral service, then one of the best places to look for help is within your own family. You should not feel embarrassed or guilty about asking for help. In difficult situations, it is always important to have family there for support. While some families may be in a better position financially to lend assistance, reaching out for help should never be looked down upon by others.
In fact, one of the best ways to bring a family together and form stronger relationships is in the aftermath of a tragedy or crisis. Tackling these problems is already difficult enough, but to do so alone is even more difficult and stressful.
If the recently deceased is also part of the family then it makes even more sense that surrounding family members contribute in some way. It would be over the top to expect other family members to pay for a large percentage of the funeral, but they still might be willing to contribute something, whether that be partially paying for a cremation urn, or providing food for the funeral reception.
Judy from Cleveland, Ohio wrote to us about her experience with this exact issue.
“When my father died unexpectedly it left my husband and I in a difficult situation. We had just finished paying for our wedding and had very little money left. Really just enough to cover bills. It was a very stressful situation. After the news of my father’s passing had spread throughout the family, we asked a few family members for help. Some of them were not able to send money and my husband and I accepted that. All of them were more than happy to assist us with anything else that they could, most importantly extra car pooling and daycare for our children. I am so thankful for them. Without that support I don’t know how our family would have been able to cover the cost”.
What stands out with Judy's story, and many others like hers is you have to ask if you want some assistance. The old cliche reigns true, "If you don't ask the answer will always be no". It may be difficult to reach out, but are you really going to let pride disrupt your ability to plan a meaningful funeral for a loved one?
Nobody appreciates when people stick their hand out and expect money. It is very unfair to assume everyone is going to help you out financially. You have to approach the situation with a level of understanding by taking into account other people’s situation. Some families might not have any extra money to lend, plain and simple. You may feel embarrassed about asking for money, imagine how embarrassed other family members might feel in declining to help because they aren’t able to.
You shouldn’t take other family members not contributing as them not caring. Instead what you should be focused on is supporting each other while showing love and kindness.
A great way to raise money from surrounding friends and family without directly asking is to set up a Go Fund Me account. As funeral costs continue to rise in the US there has similarly been a rise in Go Fund Me campaigns set up to fund funeral expesnses. How it works is you set up a campaign and give a description of why you're are trying to raise money. You can share your campaign on Facebook and other social media platforms. Other people can choose to donate money to your campaign, all through Go Fund Me's website.
If you are interested in saving money on funerals I highly recommend you check out How to Save Hundreds of Dollars on Funeral Costs for more information.