When a loved one passes away, not all of us can reach into deep pockets to cover the cost, and not everyone who dies has a prepaid funeral planned at the ready! Recently, the Work and Income Funeral Grant has been increased after remaining stagnant for 20 years. The funeral grant has been designed to help with some (but not all) of the funeral costs of someone who has died. Depending on the money or assets the person who died had, the most you can be paid is $2,445.37, and when you consider a simple funeral with cremation costs an average of $6500 and a burial upwards of $8400, it’s really not going to go far.
How can you give your loved one a respectful farewell, at a reasonable cost? There are some quite straightforward choices which make a decent difference:
Consider cremation rather than burial. Right away you’ll save around $2k. 20 years ago, 10% chose cremation, now it’s 50/50. However, around 10-15% who have decided on cremation do so for financial reasons.
Casket choice. You can really find a variation in price here! Think about choosing a slightly more simple option. Think biodegradable cardboard caskets that do a favour to your pocket and the environment.
Be resourceful! Put out a koha box to help pay for the funeral if it feels appropriate. Ask friends and family to bring a plate for after the funeral instead of bringing in professional catering. Perhaps a strong uncle can dig the grave or a family member could design and print the order of service sheets.
By working together with friends and family to reduce costs, and by sharing small tasks you can create an opportunity to bring people together at a time of mourning. Creating a caring atmosphere while working together will not only bring cost savings, but much needed care and aroha to all involved.