About

About Save Funeral Costs and its aim to inform the people of cheaper funerals.

About Save Funeral Costs

Founder: SW Barratt

For cheaper funerals

Save Funeral Costs (SFC) is an online consumer help centre which provides guidance for individuals to organise cheaper funerals, mainly via low-cost undertakers. SFC also explains where to find financial help, bereavement support, and advice on home and natural burials. The home page explains how SFC can help and directs the reader to low-cost undertakers and other money-saving information via the drop-down menus and grid boxes. These drop-down menus are also on each page.

Searches for cheaper funerals

Search terms such as, “cheaper funerals” and “low-cost funerals near me” are searched online terms, as many people struggle to finance a funeral. Whilst a lot of information is available, it can be confusing when searching from one source to another, as to who is low-cost. Save Funeral Costs aims to keep information together, and act as an accurate hub of support under one umbrella. Savings of around 50%† can be made from many funeral charges.

Save Funeral Costs books

The Save Funeral Costs ebook and paperback were published in 2020 by SW Barratt to assist the public in saving money on funeral costs. The book is written on SW’s personal experience in arranging several family funerals. The goal of the book is to inform the reader of low-cost funeral directors and cost-saving funeral information. The book provides resources to inform individuals about saving significant money on funeral expenses.

In 2022, the second edition of the Save Funeral Costs guide was released, providing updated information and expanded resources for those looking to plan affordable funerals. The website also received an update to include more details on certain free financial assistance available from Government, charities, and other relevant services, that could be useful to individuals needing help planning a funeral.

SFC online

The book contents were used free of charge to populate the Save Funeral Costs (SFC) website in 2021. The website’s home page introduces the reader to low-cost undertakers and other money-saving information via the video, drop-down menus and grid boxes.

Objective

There is a common misunderstanding that unless you spend a lot of money, you are not able to give the deceased a decent funeral. Therefore, cheaper funerals would be out of the question for most people. The SFC objective is to explain that this is not the case, and aims to inform the reader of quality like-for-like services which cost much less.

It also aims to help those who either wish to save money, personalise a funeral, or are on a tight budget. Substantial money on funeral expenses can be saved by using all the relevant money-saving information in the one easy-to-read area.

Main content

SFC has several main areas that aim to assist the public in organising a cheaper funeral:

  • Help with Funeral Costs
  • Benevolent Funds
  • Support with Bereavement
  • Death Certificates 
  • Disbursements
  • Cremations & Burials
  • Funeral Packages
  • Funeral Plans
  • Writing a Will

Steps 1-5 outline the main actions to be taken to reduce expenses:

  • Step 1: Low-Cost Funerals
  • Step 2: Funeral Service 
  • Step 3: Coffins Prices
  • Step 4: Funeral Wake Ideas
  • Step 5: Home & Natural Burial.

The Directory page provides a comprehensive list of contact information for various funeral service providers and suppliers.

SFC is independent

SFC is not like many sites which are funded by sponsorship, subscription or general advertising. Neither is SFC like other commercial sites which would prioritise or only promote/list services that pay them.

Everything written on SFC is independent and free from outside influence. This is to help the user access low-cost information free of charge. This is particularly important as some users would not be able to afford to pay.

SFC is run and founded by Steven W Barratt who employs various freelancers to carry out technical tasks such as site maintenance, graphic design and dealing with software issues.

SFC only earns an income if a user purchases from an affiliate link to a recommended product or service. This is at no extra expense to the user. If a company offers the best product or service but no affiliate link, they are still used to provide the user with the best deal.

Ongoing updates

Everything about Save Funeral Costs is designed to help the user. The website has therefore undergone a series of updates since 2021, which involved the addition of weekly blog posts addressing different topics where readers may require advice. These blogs are also regularly featured on other popular social media platforms, including Quora, Medium, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram and Twitter.

In 2022, the website also introduced push notifications and an opt-in email sign-up feature to allow readers to receive weekly blog posts which provides additional information and support to those seeking advice on reducing funeral costs. Both the SFC eBook and printed book had additional content added in 2023 and 2024 to include the updated website content.

Free PDF download & logo

In 2022, Save Funeral Costs released a Free Downloadable PDF  “How to Save Funeral on Costs,” –  a quick reference guide that includes the primary points from the book and website which include the Government Funeral Expenses Payment. The company logo was also registered in 2022.

Influence for SFC

SW Barratt wrote the Save Funeral Costs guide after a relative died, and he had to arrange the funeral. He visited a local undertaker which his family had used for years but was shocked at how costs had risen for a basic cremation with one hearse, a limousine and a basic coffin. After registering the death and making inquiries, he found a low-cost undertaker who could offer cheaper funerals. The undertaker said the cost would be around half of the same funeral service he had been quoted two days before.

As most people would be, he was wary of why this was such a massive money-saving for the same service. It sounded too good to be true. Yes, he would like to save money, but likewise did not want a poor quality cheap funeral. The answer was reassuringly simple; the company he telephoned were a low-cost independent undertaker, sometimes known as an online undertaker. However, importantly they also promote budget funerals which are dignified cheaper funerals at a lower cost.

Additional influence

Save Funeral Costs was additionally inspired by the 2018 Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) findings, which revealed that people were complaining about above-average inflation price rises and struggling to pay funeral bills, leading to debt. MP Frank Field welcomed the investigation and highlighted issues within the unregulated funeral industry. The CMA ordered undertakers and crematoriums to make their prices clear in 2021.

Down to Earth funeral advice operated by Quaker Social Action (QSA) were also inspirational as a helpful service. They also provided information for the CMA investigation. The SunLife Cost of Dying 2023 report also highlighted that approximately 1 in 5 families had difficulty paying for a funeral, with around 1 in 7 families falling into debt.

SW Barratt explains

Since the first save funeral costs book was published, I have made continual improvements to the website and book. The main aim of SFC is to raise awareness that low-cost dignified funerals can easily be arranged, and for SFC to be an easy under one umbrella centre for all lower cost funeral help.

Most people have not heard of independent low-cost undertakers due to powerful marketing domination from the few large national companies. These smaller low-cost undertakers cannot compete with the large marketing budgets of these companies.

One of the main reasons that low-cost undertakers can offer cheaper funerals than most other undertakers is that various other undertakers are owned or have been bought by one of the few large national companies. In most cases, the name of the undertakers is on the shop front, but they are not independent. For example, a family business of J Smith & Son undertakers may have been in business for many years and then bought out by one of the large nationals but trade as J Smith & Son undertaker. Many people are often unaware that their local undertaker has been taken over until they receive correspondence for a funeral.

As most people are aware, once a large company starts to take control of smaller independents, costs can increase.

† Save around 50% based on SunLife Cost of Dying 2023 report, which states the average cost of a basic cremation was £3673 in 2022. Low-cost TDM Funeral Services Simple Service £1941. This is a 47% difference.

For further helpful information covering different aspects of funerals from poems, flowers, bereavement gift ideas, what to wear at a funeral, low-cost headstones and much more, visit the Save Funeral Costs™ blog.

SW Barratt
Founder: SW Barratt

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