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''Funerals are expensive.''
"I can't afford to die."
"I want to leave something for my children.''

As Funeral Directors we've heard these all before.

The modern day funeral has been a relatively expensive exercise for at least the last 100 years, even in New Zealand. There will be very few New Zealand families who do not have a relative left lying in the soil of France, Belgium, Turkey, Italy, Crete, Egypt or other parts of the globe. Relatives left in foreign ground were never given the funeral that their families would have wanted. This feeling of loss is remembered every ANZAC day and perhaps each time a family member passes away.

Today we all want to do the 'right thing' for our family members who have passed away. We want our family members to be treated with respect, dignity, care and with reverence as they are prepared for their final journey. Unfortunately this seems to cost money; for some of us, a large amount of money. When planning a funeral, you could easily pay around $8,000 for a dignified, tasteful funeral service followed by a cremation. If a burial is requested that can easily amount to $12,000. Serious consideration needs to be made regarding casket choices, and for many funerals, the most economical casket is around the $3,000 mark! The location of the funeral service is ideally close to where the family is based, and flowers need to be chosen for the casket and perhaps music for the service. All of these costs add up.

Most people wouldn't simply walk into a shop and spend between $8,000 and $12,000 on their first visit, without some time spent considering all of their options. The one exception seems to be a funeral. When planning a funeral, nobody stops to consider: "What is the cost breakdown?", "Is an itemised pricing list available?", "What is a professional fee?", "If I don't pay a professional fee with the funeral directors be unprofessional?"

The myth is confirmed; grieving families, at their most vulnerable, suffering from the loss of a partner or a parent, simply want to do the 'right thing' by them. Large organisations understand the sales and decision making processes surrounding people who are emotionally vulnerable and who make near instant decisions for high cost items.

But more recently, a growing number of people are actively looking at their options when it comes to funerals and their cost. Many individuals and families are opting for a 'direct cremation' where the deceased is uplifted from the place of death, held at the Funeral Directors' premises until the cremation can be arranged. This is the most economical form of funeral available. What is not widely promoted is that there are a number of Funeral Directors who provide full funeral services for a fraction of the accepted cost.

These Funeral Directors do this not by 'skimping' on costs, but by using facilities that are readily available. As an example, Just Funerals use Funeral Service locations like Chapels provided by Auckland City Council, resulting in a cost saving. And there are a number of private chapels available throughout the city. There are churches, halls, RSA's, clubs and organisations that provide facilities perfectly suitable for funeral services and many have areas for catering after the service.

Caskets are a large expense in a funeral. Should a cremation take place, Just Funerals recommend using a simple casket, covered by an 'outer' casket, a more affordable option that offers the appearance of a more expensive casket without the hefty price tag.

The myth that funerals cost the same as a second hand car or a new kitchen is slowly being broken down. Low cost funeral services, like the funeral options provided by Just Funerals, give people the opportunity to make informed decisions and arrange a dignified, personalised funeral service for their loved ones at approximately half the cost charged by the larger funeral companies.

Get in touch with our Funeral Directors today and let us help guide you through planning a funeral service that fits your budget.