5 Ways to Minimize Burial Costs

Ways to Minimize Burial Costs

After a loved one has passed, you quickly learn funeral services are expensive. It becomes an even greater financial burden without life insurance. However, there are ways you can minimize burial costs.

1. Compare Services and Burial Costs

Whenever you are making a big purchase or incur a large expense, you should shop around. Burial expenses are no exception. There are hundreds of websites that help you find low cost funeral services near you. They provide free and instant quotes online for you as well. Once you have chosen a funeral provider, they will request email contact information to send estimates.

It is also wise to think ahead and talk about what kind of memorial service your loved one wants. Planning ahead gives you more time to discuss details and shop around to find the best deals. You can also prearrange services and work out a payment plan to ease the expenses later on. Furthermore, most insurance companies will also work directly with the funeral homes. When payments come due, this is one less obstacle for you to deal with during such a difficult time.

2. Minimize Burial and Cremation Costs

The package deals and additional services can push the total costs well over $10,000. If you need ways to minimize burial costs, you can begin with the final resting place. You don’t always need to buy the casket or urn from the funeral home. Instead, you can look for cheaper options elsewhere. Check online for bargains, especially with discount buying clubs like Costco. Just be certain your state doesn’t have any laws requiring you to purchase one directly from the funeral provider.

For those looking for the simplest funeral with minimal costs, direct cremation is the best option. If you skip the embalming, you will further reduce the fees. These services take place outside of peak hours and do not permit family or friends to be present. Your loved one will then be returned in an urn to be interred.

3. Host a Wake or Memorial Service at Home

Costs can quickly get out of hand if you host an elaborate memorial service. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to honor someone’s memory. Many funeral homes can arrange everything from start to finish, but eliminating the memorial service from their package saves a ton of money. Traditionally wakes were held in the home of the family or the deceased. This is a very personal and intimate way for mourners to say their goodbyes. It is also an excellent way for them to contribute and help the family when they need it most. If each attendee brings one dish for a potluck style meal, it completely removes the bill for food and beverage services. Relieving a financial burden is a tremendous comfort for a grieving family.

4. Cut Transportation Fees

Another easy way to minimize burial costs is by providing your own transportation. The funeral procession usually consists of hearses and limousines for the mourners. Cutting out unnecessary vehicle rentals is a great way to stay under budget. Family and friends can arrange transport to the cemetery with private vehicles. The money saved on transport can then be used in other areas.

5. Donate Your Body to Science

For those wanting to help others after death, there is no cost for donating your body. The medical school will even cover the cost of transporting and handling the remains. However, there are some important points in the fine print.

Donation occurs from the time of death. So, the body may not be available for burial services right away. Some schools arrange memorial services for the family at a later time. The remains are cremated and returned to the next of kin when they complete the study.

Parting Thoughts

Although it is difficult to discuss death, you should discuss arrangements before your loved one passes. Not only will they be a part of the services, but it also alleviates a heavy burden from friends and family. The sooner you begin making funeral arrangements, the less stress there will be when it comes time for a final farewell.

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Can You Have Two Car Loans At Once?

, can you have two car loans at once

When purchasing a car, the process is somewhat daunting. Although for the most part, it’s fairly simple. That is, as long as you have decent credit. First, you find a vehicle that suits you and your monthly budget. Then, after settling on a price and putting some money down and/or trading in another vehicle, you’ll sign off on a loan. This will likely be at the dealer’s. Then you’ll drive your new-to-you car right off the lot.  But, what if you’re buying two cars at once? How about if you’re buying another care before your other vehicle loan is paid off? Can you have two car loans at once?

Can You Have Two Car Loans at Once?

You may find yourself in a situation, particularly with your husband or wife, where you may need to have two car loans out at the same time. Whatever the circumstances, the answer is typical of most finance questions: it depends.

As with any loan, what will determine your approval comes down to a number of factors; mainly, your credit. Let’s break them down.

Getting Approved for Two Car Loans

There are a few key factors that will be considered for multiple loans. They are as follows:

Credit History

Not surprisingly, one of the first things a banker or lender will look at will be your credit history. They will obtain and review your information, which will include your credit score, repayment history, other loans on file, and so on.

This will be one of the main elements in determining your approval for another car loan. Even though the bank approved the first loan does not mean this second will go just as smoothly.

Proof of Income

In addition to credit history, those loaning you the money will want to see a proof of income, for obvious reasons. This shows them not only that you have money coming in regularly, but it provides an idea of how capable you are of repaying such debt.

Other Factors

Other factors that banks look at when you apply for a second car loan may also include your debt to income ratio. If your debt ratio is 50% or more, you may have trouble getting approved for a loan. This is true even if you have a decent salary. Writer and real estate investor Michael Bluejay notes on his website that each bank differs. But in generous cases, your bank may permit you to have a 42% debt ratio. You can find out how to calculate your income to debt ratio here.

Keep In Mind

Be aware of the “straw” purchase. A “straw” purchase is basically when you buy a car for someone else, but put the loan under your name. This is considered bank fraud, and thus, it’s illegal. One reason is because a car is collateral. If you are trying to purchase a vehicle for a loved one, you should sign as a co-signer or give them cash to put toward their purchase. They are not able to own the car if the loan is under your name. However, if the individual is your dependent, then it is a different case.

Think about why you need the car. Reconsider the loan to save on interest if you are able to pay straight cash. If you plan to only use the additional vehicle as shuttle only or for limited driving, it may not be worth taking out a loan.

The Effects of Having Two Car Loans

Taking on two car loans at the same time is a huge financial responsibility. Not only will you have the additional payment each month, but it will also affect your credit. Chances are that your credit score will take a hit and temporarily lower after you take out the loans. Furthermore, you will also have a higher debt-to-income ratio. This will make it more difficult to obtain good rates from future lenders. It will also make it difficult to improve your credit score with such a heavy financial responsibility.

There is some good news for those with good credit, limited debt, or a strong income. While a second loan may not impact your situation much, it is still wise to think through all your options before signing anything.

Conclusion

So, can you have two car loans at once? Yes, but not without requirements. Cases and circumstances do vary. You might want to make sure you would even qualify for a second loan by speaking with a few lenders before picking out that next car. You’ll also want to review what new interest rates you could have as they might be higher depending on your current loan status.

Have you ever had to take out more than one car loan at the same time? Share your experience in the comments below!

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Ways to Get Paid by Writing Songs

Ways to Get Paid by Writing Songs

If you have a talent for writing songs, chances are you have been dissuaded from pursuing a career in music. Many people do not consider it a lucrative venture or stable employment. However, most songwriters are not doing it for the money. The good news is that there are ways to get paid by writing songs. If you are passionate and driven, here is how serious writers generate income from their music.

Earn Royalties for Writing Songs

Royalties are the primary source of generating income for songwriters. Songs earn royalties each time someone uses, plays, or performs them. It includes every time your work gets radio play or when there is a public performance. Royalties encompasses everything from the song’s use on TV to the sale of sheet music. While some ‘old school’ sources of royalties have become less common today, there are new ways to get paid by writing songs.

The constant technological advancement has also created new ways to generate money. In the digital age, you can also make a lot of money through download and streaming royalties. You can then sell your songs to music libraries and distribute them through music services like Amazon Music, Google Play and iTunes. People and companies must pay a synchronization license fee to use your music in commercials, movies, or TV series as well. Furthermore, you can generate mechanical royalties from companies that manufacture a product using your song. In such an interconnected society, there are many ways to get your music out there.

 Paid Public Performances

Don’t forget that you also get paid when your music is performed. Your music generates live performance royalties for each public performance. You earn royalties from ticket holders as well as each time someone publicly plays a recording of your song. The amount of money you make though varies greatly. Negotiations between the venue and the Performing Rights Organization will ultimately determine how much you earn. Be sure to register all your songs and set lists to ensure you get paid by writing songs.

If you are lucky, you may broker a deal with a publishing company that will pay you advances. This allows songwriters time and space to create without the pressure to get paid by writing songs. For those with even greater ambitions, you can also look into starting your own record label. Increased number of performances and artists equates to more money in your pocket.

Get Your Name Out There by Writing Songs

If you want to break into the music world, the most important thing is to get your name out there. Start producing your music and post it everywhere. Use every medium that is available to you. You can even take the initiative to write a brief and approach companies to pitch your songs. The more exposure you get and more internet traffic you create, the more likely it is to connect with someone who can help you advance your career. The only way to become successful is such a competitive industry is through persistence and constant self promotion.

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