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A Breakdown of Cremation Costs

Did you know that more than 3 million people die every year? Losing a loved one is always tough, but figuring out the cost of the burial is also a challenge. Fortunately, if you don’t have the budget for a traditional burial, cremation is your next best option.

Cremation costs tend to be much cheaper than the costs of a traditional burial. More than that, the process is much quicker. But what does cremation involve and what kind of costs will you have to pay?

Keep reading and learn more about your cremation options and how much these options might cost.

Traditional Cremation vs. Direct Cremation

Keep in mind that the average cost of cremation differs from place to place and that paying for cremation can vary according to a lot of factors. In particular, the price will vary according to whether you choose direct or traditional cremation.

Cremation, on average, costs around $2,400.

These two types of cremation are actually quite similar. After all, they both involve the cremation of the body. However, traditional cremation tends to be quite a bit more expensive while direct cremation is the cheapest option you can choose.

So, if you don’t want to spend too much on cremation payments, direct cremation is the way you should go. But what is the difference between them anyway? It all begins with the embalming process.

The embalming process involves filling a dead body with embalming fluid so that the body will stay preserved for a certain period of time. This is important for both traditional cremation and burials. This is because embalming a body will allow it to stay preserved long enough for a memorial and the rest of the funeral service.

Otherwise, the body would start to naturally break down. Traditional cremation first involves embalming the body so that you can have a viewing or memorial before the cremation. On the other hand, direct cremation does not involve embalming the body.

What You Need to Know

Once the body dies, it goes straight into the cremation chamber for direct cremation as soon as possible. This foregoes a viewing or memorial entirely. Because direct cremation does not involve the labor or material costs of embalming, it is very cheap.

It rarely exceeds a thousand dollars. On the other hand, traditional cremation that does involve embalming the body first will cost quite a bit more. However, this number will vary according to your location.

If you live in a more affluent area or in a big city, you’ll likely have to pay more. Some states, such as California, have particularly high cremation costs and you may need to pay as much as several thousand dollars. Even so, this is still much cheaper than a traditional burial which may cost you several thousand dollars more.

For that reason, if you’re on a tight budget or don’t have a lot of time on your hands, cremation, whether it be traditional or direct, is the better choice in contrast to burial.

Casket or No Casket?

When cremating a loved one, you will have the choice of buying or renting a casket for the deceased. You might be wondering what the point of having a casket is if the body is going to be turned into ashes. If you plan on having a viewing or memorial, you’ll likely need to rent a casket.

When choosing a casket, you will find that you will have many options to choose from. Your local funeral director will show you around the options and guide you around the cheaper casket choices as well as the more luxurious choices. Usually, the cheapest caskets will not be on display, so you might have to ask specifically to see those if you’re on a tight budget.

Caskets are made out of many different materials. Many are made out of wood and have a very beautiful and luxurious look. Some of the more expensive caskets may have unique decorations, prints, and carvings.

There are also plastic or metal caskets. When choosing a casket to rent for the viewing or memorial, you will always want to keep the price in mind. For example, how long will the memorial be and for how long will you need to rent the casket?

A casket’s only purpose is to hold the body before the cremation process. For that reason, you might not find that there is much of a point in paying for a very expensive casket. But if you prefer, a high-quality casket can give your loved one a very luxurious way out.

But what if you don’t want to pay for a casket at all?

Avoiding the Cost of a Casket

In that case, you will have to opt for direct cremation. As mentioned before, since direct cremation doesn’t involve any embalming, it will not be possible to have a viewing in the first place.

As such, there will be no reason to rent a casket either. Keep in mind, however, that a viewing or a memorial can bring closure to you and the rest of your family that you might not be able to get if you avoid having a viewing. Keep that in mind before you immediately opt for direct cremation.

As for direct cremation, while you won’t need to rent a casket for the viewing, you will still need to pay for a casket for the body to be cremated in. This kind of casket is made of nothing more than a single sheet of material such as cardboard or wood. Its purpose is to hold the body in place once it enters the cremation chamber.

That way, the resulting ashes will be in one place rather than scattered throughout the chamber. Fortunately, this casket is not very expensive at all. There is not really any way to avoid this extra payment since creating a body with this makeshift casket is more or less necessary.

Other Costs You’ll Need to Consider

Your most expensive option is to have a traditional funeral along with the cremation. This is more or less a traditional cremation. It involves embalming the body, having a memorial or viewing, and then cremating the body where it will then be placed into an urn or another container.

This kind of cremation along with a burial may cost you significantly more money. In this case, the cost of cremation only makes up a very small portion of this cost, usually only a few hundred dollars. The remainder of the cost has to do with the preparation of the body before it goes through the embalming process.

As mentioned before, the embalming process itself is already quite expensive. Besides that, once the body is embalmed, the body will still need to be prepared in various ways. In particular, someone will need to put makeup on the body to make it look more life-like, someone will need to dress the body, do the body’s hair, and so on.

That way, the body will be presentable and in good shape when it is time for the memorial. Besides all of these individual costs to make up the body, there is the cost of the casket you will rent for the viewing.

The Details

Renting a casket is usually the most expensive part of the entire process.

This is not to mention that there is a basic service fee from the funeral home involved. This service fee is due to you using the funeral home as a place to hold the memorial, among other services involved.

This is not considering other costs such as flowers and other decorations that your memorial may or may not have.

If you don’t want to have a ceremony, you can end up saving yourself a few thousand dollars. Again, keep in mind that not having a ceremony may not be able to give your grieving closure in the way you want it. Finally, you will need to consider the cost of the urn.

Urns, like caskets, can be quite expensive. However, the cost will vary according to what kind of urn you get. Some urns can cost you several thousand dollars.

On the other hand, some urns might only cost you a few hundred. For that reason, you shouldn’t have any trouble choosing the right funeral urn to fit your budget.

All About Cremation Costs

When it comes to cremation costs, there are many things that you will need to consider. The cost can vary dramatically depending on your location and whether you choose a traditional or direct cremation. For example, direct cremation is the cheapest choice because the body will go directly into the cremation chamber without a viewing or traditional funeral.

On the other hand, cremation with a traditional funeral will cost more but it can bring you and your family a sense of closure. To learn more, contact us here.

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