Funerals are expensive, there’s no doubt about that, but there are ways of cutting down the costs associated with dying that could help you save money in the long-term.

According to the Sun Life Cost of Dying Report 2021, the expense associated with dying is at an all-time high of £9,263, up 0.8% on the previous year and up 128% since 2004. A basic funeral costs on average £4,184 – and that is just the funeral costs; it doesn’t include expenses such as professional fees and providing a wake.

The cost of dying is rising simply because the price of funerals is increasing and if it continues to rise at the same rate, a basic funeral could cost over £5,000 by 2025.

But there are ways to reduce how much you will have to pay for your funeral; the first, and perhaps the most important, is investing in a prepaid funeral plan. A funeral plan allows you to arrange almost all aspects of your funeral in advance – everything from the type of service, to the funeral flowers to the venue for the wake.

Critically, it also enables you to pay for it upfront. By purchasing a prepaid funeral plan, you are locking in the price of certain services – including the funeral director – at today’s fees. In the long term, this could save your future self (or your family) a significant amount of money. There is a wide range of options available, often depending on the type of funeral service you’d like, so you should select a funeral plan that meets your needs.

The funeral service itself is an opportunity to save your future self money. You should choose a service which best reflects your wishes, but it’s worth bearing in mind that, despite falling out of favour in recent times, traditional burials remain the most expensive type of funeral.

Cremations are a popular and cheaper alternative, while a direct cremation, which does away with the fuss of a service, is cheaper still. The latter is increasing in popularity as people opt for a Celebration of Life over traditional funeral services.

Other ways to save your future self money include opting for a cheaper coffin or casket, spending less on funeral flowers, and choosing a woodland burial over a traditional church-based one.

As well as being less expensive, a woodland burial is also more environmentally friendly as it is not permitted for your body to be embalmed, meaning no harmful chemicals are used to preserve your body.

Other environmentally-friendly and money-saving tips include encouraging your family to find alternative transport to and from the funeral venue rather than hiring limousines, and foregoing order or service cards, which are often discarded, or left at the funeral venue.

There are many ways you can save your future self money when it comes to your own funeral, but nothing beats proper planning. Whatever the funeral you chose, protect yourself from rising prices by investing in a funeral plan today.