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Funeral Costs and Expenses - How Much Does an Average Funeral Cost?


Many times you'll people say that the average funeral costs around $6,000.  However, that estimate is based on a price survey taken several years ago. Funeral prices, like everything else, have increased with inflation.
Today, the average North American traditional funeral costs between $7,000 and $10,000.  This price range includes the services at the funeral home, burial in a cemetery, and the installation of a headstone. 

While cremation is gaining in popularity, the traditional funeral is still the most popular manner for disposing of the deceased.
Although funeral prices vary considerably between funeral homes and geographic areas of the country, here is a reasonable "ballpark" estimate of the main costs that are involved:

  • fee for the funeral director's services: $1,500
  • cost for a casket: $2,300
  • embalming: $500
  • cost for using the funeral home for the actual funeral service: $500
  • cost of a gravesite: $1,000
  • cost to dig the grave: $600
  • cost of a grave liner or outer burial container: $1,000
  • cost of a headstone: $1,500

In this example, total costs would approximate $9,000....and that's just for the "main" items.  There could be additional charges for things like placing the obituary in the newspaper, buying flowers, and limousine rental. There could also be additional charges for prayer cards, use of the hearse, and a donation to the organist, soloist, or officiating clergy.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to reduce the cost of funeral services to a more reasonable level.  This is one area where a little bit of planning can make a big difference.  The little bit of time you spend preparing can easily save you thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs.

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