quote-about-money-funnyReality Check: You may sincerely desire a funeral service that is not ostentatious or grand, yet it’s easy by default to end up with more than you desired. Few among us are completely immune to the vulnerability of appearances. We may say/think/believe that appearances don’t matter, but when it’s time to walk our talk, are you really going to choose, say… a plain cardboard box for a casket?

Extreme example? If we’re being practical, that’s all that’s needed. (The casket is about the highest-priced item at a funeral.) It can even be completely hidden by a beautiful piece of cloth—no one would know—but still, it’s difficult to not feel like you’re just cheaping out. Plus everyone from the funeral director to your spouse/siblings/friends will probably question your taste/values/intentions if you downgrade (in society’s eyes) too much.

And this is just one item, the casket. There’s services, transportation, and other items that are nonessential (but customary) that all add up…

To a potentially horrifyingly large amount of moola.

If you want to spend a lot of moola on your (or anyone else’s) funeral—got for it! The only thing that matters is doing what is right for you. But if you honestly know you want to be simple/frugal/modest, here’s your guiding light question when considering a particular purchase:

What ELSE could I spend that money on, that’s more important to me?

Whether you reallocate it to some other aspect of your send-off (e.g. charity, an activity, a trip), or just use it to go to a concert or paint your house, there’s no shame in not spending money on something that you’re only doing for show, or that has no lasting value.

Determine which parts of your send-off matter to you. It’s not a contest to spend as little $$ as possible (though I honestly love that idea). I Want a Fun Funeral is all about taking it up a notch, after all. But not monetarily—it’s the honoring, celebrating, and healing that is important.

Maybe having, literally, 500 balloons would be more appropriate than a fancy casket. Maybe the repast should, for this person, be an extravagant feast, so you opt for the house van instead of a hearse and 2 limos. Maybe you just don’t want to go into debt. For any funeral item or service that is offered up for your purchasing—pay attention, consider it carefully, and if it’s not something you sincerely want, ask yourself:

What ELSE could I spend that money on, that’s more important to me?

Hopefully that will give you the peace of mind you need to choose wisely and spend without regrets.