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Six Ways to Keep Funeral Costs Down


● 1. Type

● 2. Locations

● 3. Funeral Provider

● 4. Essentials vs Extras

● 5. Pre-Planning

● 6. Payment Options

If you are looking at funeral costs you are likely in one of two situations. You are either planning ahead for a funeral, whether your own or a next of kin, or you have lost a loved one and are in the process of organising it. Planning ahead is always the preferred option, but it’s not always at the top of people’s lists.

Whatever situation you are in, we have looked into six areas that can impact funeral costs.

We are fully transparent about our Services and Prices at H.Parsons and you can find our Pricing Disclosure here.


It is important to determine whether a cremation or burial is the best option for your situation.


Cremations account for over 70% of funerals in Australia and are usually the cheaper option because the additional costs associated with a burial are not required. The most affordable option is a direct cremation, where this is no funeral service.

Depending on your circumstances, a cremation may be more suitable for you and your family for religious or personal reasons. A cremation is organised via a funeral provider and in this situation, there are a whole range of options available to you for determining the final resting place of your loved one. You can take the ashes, known as cremains with you to keep in an urn or keepsake, organise to scatter them in a favourite location, select a piece of jewellery that allows you to carry your loved one around with you or choose biodegradable options that breakdown and are entirely environmentally friendly. You can still organise a service for your loved one with a cremation whether at the funeral home or at a place of your choosing. More about the cremation process here can be found on the H.Parsons website..


These days a burial is a less common choice and it is more costly. Some of the things you need to consider with a burial include location of service and plot, type of coffin or casket, flowers for service, service presentation, whether it will be a religious ceremony or not.


Where do you want to hold the service? There are certainly price differences involved here however it may also depend on what works best for the type of funeral you are having. Here are the options you might consider:

Funeral Homes

This is usually the easiest option as funeral homes allow you to organise the service and burial or cremation together. They have dedicated areas for the service and reception and most are now offering high quality web streaming and audio visual services. You don’t need to think of the ins and outs of what is required, as Funeral Directors have the experience to help you out with whatever you need. Talk to them about your budget as reputable funeral homes will ensure you receive a respectful and dignified service and tailor this to your budget.


A service at home is an affordable option and allows you flexibility in times, catering and may be more comfortable for all. Just make sure you have people to help you prepare and clean up!

Event Hall or Function Centre

If your home isn’t large enough to host all the people expected at the service, then you can hire a hall at a more cost-effective price. In most cases you still need to order catering and clean-up but your living space isn’t being over-run with visitors.

Catered Service

You might like to hold a service at a restaurant or eatery where food and drinks are readily available and there is no clean up necessary. You can also choose to cover the cost of food or drinks or have people pay their way. Whatever is easiest and most affordable for you.

Funeral Directors

Reputable Funeral Directors have a high level of expertise in the funeral industry and bring a combination of professionalism and empathy to their role. It’s important you feel comfortable with the Funeral Director who will be looking after your loved one or your pre planning arrangements. Price is an important option if you are on a tight budget and a good Funeral Director will work with you to meet your budget. Here are some other areas to consider:

● Strong reputation - speak to others and look up online reviews.

● Caring team - when you speak to the funeral staff you will get a sense of this.

● Listening - they should listen to your needs and guide you with care.

● Modern, clean and well-run facilities - you should be comfortable with the location and what is provided. Make sure you ask about web streaming services and audio-visual support.

● Caters for religious or cultural needs - the provider you choose should respect this and be able to accommodate you.

● Transparency - prices and services available should be freely provided and offered to you.

● Who their suppliers are. Some seemingly “affordable” funeral providers outsource many of their services. While the upfront price may seem less, your loved one’s mortuary care and transport may be outsourced to inexperienced operators.

● Grief resources - funerals are a difficult and emotional time so it’s helpful if the funeral provider can provide additional information about self-care and bereavement support.

Essentials vs Extras

You can keep costs down by sticking to the essentials only, but that also really comes down to the deceased’s intentions, so make these the priority. Make sure you discuss your budget with the Funeral Director to ensure they are aware of your needs. Here are the options:

Direct Cremation

Usually, the choice to be cremated comes from the deceased person prior to their death, but it can also be the family’s choice or next of kin. Direct cremation is where there is no ceremony or Funeral Director. The only things you need are:

● The use of the crematorium

● A simple coffin can be used instead of a pricier wooden casket

● The vessel to take the cremains with you

Cremation Service

With a cremation service a Funeral Director will:

● Store and prepare the body

● Process the necessary paperwork and certificates

● Arrange the cremation

● Supply the coffin and organise the return of the cremains


● A Funeral Director can also arrange a chapel service for a memorial or committal service, however you are free to do this separately yourself

● Flowers for the coffin

● Having the cremains stored at a cemetery whether in a plot or niche wall


A burial requires a few more essential items but there are plenty of extras that are not necessary and entirely up to you.

● Location of the plot in a cemetery or property

● Transportation and preparation of deceased

● Type of coffin or casket

● Hearse to transport the body to burial site

● Preparation and lodgement of paperwork


● Funeral and/or burial service

● Funeral celebrant whether a priest or civil celebrant

● Service presentations

● Flowers for the casket or burial

● Additional limousine to follow hearse and transport family to burial site


Pre planning a funeral offers many benefits.

● You personalise the funeral and details to suit YOU

● Reduces stressful decisions for loved ones

● Peace of mind for all as arrangements have been made in advance

There is a lot to consider when preparing a funeral and it can be an emotional time. H.Parsons are experts in caring for you and your loved ones and we are committed to ensuring your service is personal, respectful and dignified. Make sure you talk to our team via our contact form, calling (02) 4228 9622 or visiting us at one of our locations.


There are many ways to keep funeral costs down and ensure it is affordable yet still what you or your loved one envisioned. Here are six of them.

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