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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Reasons to Prioritize Paying off Your Car Loan

When you pay off your car loan, feel free to celebrate! This is a major milestone. After devoting anywhere from 24 months to 84 months to such a large expense, no longer having that bill is quite a welcome relief.

And you can give yourself an extra reason to celebrate this event. Contact your insurance company and see the ways you can reduce your premiums with your new status. But don’t just focus on car insurance policy changes directly related to paying off your car loan.

There is a long list of discounts you owe it to yourself to explore. Most insurance companies make it fairly easy to look into them.

State Farm does this the best with their Discount Double Check program. What does discount double check mean? This program can help you save up to 40 percent on your car insurance rates.

What Happens When You Pay Off Your Car Loan

Obviously, you no longer have that monthly outlay for your car or possibly your child’s car. Did you know that these days, a car loan is one of the things parents of millennials are likely to pay for?

But you need to know what else actually happens when you pay your car loan off. Here are a few specific things that come with this financial milestone.

#1 – Your Car Title is Yours

Luckily, getting your car title takes virtually no effort on your part. After you make your last payment to the bank (or dealership), you will receive your title in the mail.

If you don’t receive your title in a few weeks, contact the bank that had your car loan to find out when you will receive it. If more time passes without receiving your title, then get in touch with your local DMV.

Your car title is important for your records, and it is needed for selling your car. Additionally, it can be used as collateral when you apply for credit.

#2 – Your Finances Have Some Flexibility

The urge is understandable to now see that car loan money as “play money.” You can treat yourself a little bit, but try to be smart. Don’t spend money just because you have it. You can reevaluate your budget and use these funds wisely.

First, think of your car. Yes, your loan is checked off, but there will always be gas, regular maintenance, the possibility of repairs, and the cost of any modifications you may wish to make.

You may even want to think ahead to your next car. If you save money, you can get a smaller car loan or perhaps you won’t even need a car loan at all.

Second, think of your car insurance. Having extra money put away can lower your insurance rates even more. You’ll be able to be better prepared for those unexpected costs if you save now.

#3 – Your Insurance Policy Needs Updated

Your initial contact with your car insurance company is to share the news that you paid off your loan. You need to do this in order for the lien holder to be removed from your policy, but you don’t need to wait until you have the title in hand.

This first step with your insurance company is essential. Without it, if your vehicle was totaled, the insurance payment would go to the lender named on your policy, not you.

Review Your Car Insurance for a Paid Off Vehicle

While there are common car insurance milestones you can benefit from like turning 25, getting married, and retiring, truly owning your own vehicle can be another one.

#1 – Check Collision and Comprehensive Coverage

Most lenders require additional insurance beyond the state-required minimum collision, which pays for vehicle damage caused by crashes and comprehensive, which pays for damages not related to an accident such as theft, falling tree, or a deer running into the road.

Check the car insurance requirements in your state. You may be able to drop collision and comprehensive coverage when you have fulfilled your loan responsibilities. If you can, just take into account that if you get into an accident, you may be responsible for covering repair costs or a new vehicle.

Shortly after your car is paid off, you may want to review whether to drop or not. Again, dropping this coverage is easier to do the bigger your emergency fund is.

#2 – Update Your Deductible

Now that you have a few hundred dollars extra a month, perhaps you can put all or a portion of that into savings, raise your deductible, and lower your car insurance rate.

If you are required to retain your collision and comprehensive coverage or if you choose to do so, you can save on your premium costs by raising your deductible.Since you’re accepting more risk, that gives your insurance company less risk, so they pass that savings on to you.

Just make sure you can afford to do it.

The deductible is the amount of money you will pay out-of-pocket when you make a claim. So if you are raising your deductible, have that extra amount of money in reserve so you’re not in trouble in the event of an accident.

Keep Saving with Discounts on Car Insurance

When you review your coverage with your insurance company, also ask them about all of the discounts they offer.

Common Car Insurance Discounts

Some common car insurance discounts include:

  • Multi-Policy – If you bundle your home insurance policy and auto insurance policy with one provider, you could save up to 20 percent on insurance rates.
  • Multi-Car – You will have a cheaper rate if you insure all of your vehicles together rather than individually.
  • Good Driver – This discount is usually for every driver who has been accident-free for a period of three to five years.
  • Good Student – Good grades ( usually a 3.0 grade point average) can translate to being rewarded with a discount.

Hidden Car Insurance Discounts

Don’t be shy in asking about these additional discounts:

  • Defensive Driving – Find classes in your area
  • Military – active and veterans
  • Group Affiliations – employment, service, or membership
  • Occupations – nurses and doctors, first responders, and federal employees
  • Car Safety Features – extra airbags, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft
  • Customer Loyalty – staying with the same insurance provider

Compare Car Insurance to Save

Shop around for car insurance at least annually. You may be happy with the changes already made to your car insurance just from now owning your car.

But check out at least a few other companies, and don’t just compare rate quotes. Check into their financial and consumer ratings as well. Seeing if you can do better with another company is another tip on how to save on your auto insurance once you’ve paid off your car loan.

Why It’s Important to Invest in Your Mental Health

Mental health is one of the aspects of healthy living that many people ignore. While many people invest in new diets and gym subscriptions, their mental status takes a backseat. While this is an unfortunate occurrence, it is not uncommon. Most people hardly think about their mental health until it is too late. However, this should not be the case. Mental health should be prioritized, considering that it makes a significant aspect of an overall healthy living. Just as exercise is to physical health, there are several things that people can invest in to ensure that they have excellent mental health.

Professional Help

One way of maintaining a healthy mindset is to seek professional help when necessary. Wondering how much is therapy going to cost prevents many folks from getting the support they need, but it’s often less expensive than most people think. Health insurance companies are required to include mental health treatment in all policy options they offer. What’s more, many therapists base their rates on a sliding scale, which means those who earn less will pay less for their services.

Even in cases where the therapy session appears to be expensive, especially when paying out of pocket, the benefits are well worth the cost. Taking care of your mental health needs to be a priority. Below are some of the techniques you can apply when seeking to enhance your mental health:

Meditation

Meditation does not have to cost a thing, especially if it is not attached to yoga classes. Try to make sure you have sessions in life when you sit still and relax. Meditation is a great way to unburden your mind and get rid of life stresses. Create time in your daily schedule to ensure this is something that happens regularly.

Be Grateful

Whenever something goes right in your life, learn to appreciate it. Celebrate the little wins in your life, even as you look forward to the major ones. Have a gratitude journal where you note down everything that happens in your life.

Rest and Sleep

Your body needs to relax and rejuvenate. This means that you should always have enough rest whenever you can. Get enough rest and sleep by eliminating as many stressors in life as possible. Find out why your sleep patterns are mixed up and confusing to settle this issue for good.

Investing in Mental Health

You can go further and invest in your mental health by doing the following:

Fixing the Financial Stress

Most people suffer mentally when they have not fixed their financial life. The idea of not knowing what happens next can be a significant life stressor. Cushion yourself from sudden financial pressures by planning and having budgets. In case your finances are not pleasant, consider seeing a financial therapist help ease the problem.

Use a Mental Health App

One of the major challenges in the market is finding sufficient mental health experts to assist patients. If you are in an area where this is an issue, then consider using one of the numerous apps available. What’s more, there are different apps for various mental health issues.

Investing in a Mental Health Insurance Cover

Prioritize getting a cover that caters for all your health needs, including any mental issues. It helps to cover all bases health-wise, including mentally.