Though costs vary depending on the type of service, it is common for funerals to cost thousands of dollars. If you are concerned about how you are going to pay your loved one's final expenses, it is essential to understand that there are steps you can take to make your loved one's final arrangements more affordable. Here are a few things you can do to reduce your costs.

1. Opt for Cremation Over Burial

Instead of opting for a traditional viewing service and graveside burial service, have your loved one cremated. The process required to prepare a body for viewing is extremely expensive and one of the most significant components of funeral-related expenses. If costs are concern, eliminating the viewing will save thousands of dollars.

Instead of viewing the body, some families choose to have pictures and videos available of the deceased. You might ask that close friends and family members provide digital copies of their favorite images. Someone can then assemble the images into a moving slideshow to play at the service.

Cremation also reduces expenditures because it negates the need for a casket. Even entry-level caskets can cost thousands of dollars. 

If you are worried that purchasing an urn for the ashes will make cremation unaffordable, know that urns are available at a variety of price points. Some even choose to forgo an urn completely and scatter the ashes in a meaningful spot.

2. Reconsider What You Want at the Memorial Service

The cost for the memorial service can easily add thousands of dollars in expenditures to the price of a funeral. This is especially true if you hire a vocalist or musician to perform during the service. Instead of hiring someone, an alternative is to invite attendees to share special memories that they have of the deceased. Or, you can ask those especially close to the deceases to share a special reading or poem.

Flowers and decorations also increase the price of the memorial service. Cut costs by choosing simpler floral arrangements with less expensive flowers.

3. Shop Around

Like any other service, the costs for funeral services vary significantly from business to business. If the costs at one establishment sound a bit steep, make sure to request quotes from other businesses. When requesting quotes, make sure that you understand exactly what the quote includes so that there are no surprises when it is time to pay the bill.

You can tell the funeral home that you are on a budget and request that the quote be for a service that takes this into consideration.