5 Deeply Meaningful Ways To Memorialize A Loved One When Money Is Tight

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couple looking sadly at a grave

Traditional funerals can be expensive. The costs of a burial plot, casket, memorial, funeral home visitation, and headstone leave many people unable to afford it all and the present economy is causing people to seek lower-cost options.

Yet even when finances are tight, a memorial service for a loved one is not something many families feel they can go without. The families I have worked with tell me it is still so important to create something meaningful and dignified for their loved ones.

Coming together for a memorial service is the way that they honor their loved one's life. It is also often an important part of the healing process for families and friends.

Currently, the National Funeral Directors Association lists the median price of a traditional funeral and vault burial as $9,420. Virtual memorials can be held for as little as $1,900 and cremation in many cities can be found for less than $1,000. 

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Here are five recommendations that can help you honor and memorialize your loved one without breaking the bank

1. Hold a virtual memorial service

Virtual memorials offer substantial flexibility and cost savings. Out-of-town participants may not be able to afford travel expenses or the time away from work

Virtual memorials allow people to participate fully with little expense.

2. Consider cremation

Cremation is more cost-effective when compared with a casket burial. Not all cultural observances permit cremation but where it is an option, consumers can save money.

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3. Cook at home or serve pot-luck to mourning friends

Pot-luck meals during a memorial at home can be more affordable than planning a large reception in a restaurant. Attendees can prepare dishes that remind them of their loved one.

4. Display photos digitally

Use a digital display of your loved one’s photos, instead of spending money to print your photos. A monitor connected to a computer with a photo album will suffice.

5. Use an online memorial page rather than a guestbook

Create an online memorial page for your loved one that allows guests to sign their names and leave a condolence note. This is often more affordable than purchasing a hard-cover guestbook.

Virtual memorials can provide welcome relief to grieving people who want to celebrate a life well-lived inexpensively.

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Alexandra Koys is the founder of Lighten, an online celebration of life service. She specializes in transforming the traditional funeral process into an uplifting celebration and enabling the bereaved to honor lost loved ones.

This article was originally published at The author's website. Reprinted with permission from the author.