The cost of funerals in Australia has been increasing over the past few years, leading people to look for more cost-effective options when planning a funeral. According to the 2023 Australian Seniors Cost of Death report, the average cost of funerals has increased since 2019. In 2023, the estimated cost of a burial is $11,039, compared to $9,055 in 2019. Similarly, the estimated cost of cremations in 2019 was $6,334, but it has now increased to $8,045.

Due to the lack of transparency in the Australian funeral industry regarding costs, there is often a lot of uncertainty when it comes to planning for the expenses of a funeral. This article aims to help you navigate the process of planning a funeral by providing information on the average cost of funerals, the price difference between cremation and burial, and the associated costs.

How much do funerals cost in Australia?

Based on the government's Moneysmart website, private funerals generally range in cost from approximately $4,000 for a basic cremation to up to $15,000 for a more elaborate burial.

The cost of a funeral in Australia can vary significantly depending on whether it’s for a cremation or burial, the type of service required, how it’s personalised, and the location. For example, traditional funerals encompass various components, such as catering for a wake, flowers, newspaper advertising, celebrant fees, and funeral director service charges, which contribute to the overall cost. Alternatively, an unattended cremation is typically more cost-efficient, as it includes fewer services and associated expenses.

What is the average cost of a cremation vs burial?

The average cost of a burial tends to be far more expensive than a cremation due to the land required and other additional burial expenses. According to the 2023 Australian Seniors Cost of Death report, burials were estimated to cost $11,039. Traditional burials are more expensive than cremations due to costs associated with cemetery plots, opening and closing of graves, purchasing caskets, and installing headstones.

On the other hand, the average cost of a cremation in Australia in general is approximately $8,045 based on the 2023 Australian Seniors Cost of Death report. The cost of a cremation can vary greatly depending on the state or territory and if it is a simple direct cremation or a cremation with service. Additionally, whether a location is considered a non-metropolitan area or a metropolitan area can also affect the average cost within each state or territory.

What is the average cost of a direct cremation?

A direct cremation is a cremation without a formal funeral service that typically includes all the essential aspects of cremation. According to the 2022 data from Gathered Here, the average cost of a direct cremation nationwide is $3,513. In contrast, Bare offers an at-need direct cremation or no service cremation at an average cost of around $2,850*. By focusing on providing only the essential elements of a funeral, Bare helps Australian families save thousands of dollars. Additionally, you can take advantage of even more savings by prepaying for a Bare cremation, which also eliminates the worry of future price increases. Prepaying for a funeral also relieves your family of any future stress.

Aside from Bare Cremation, Bare also offers the family option to have a service or ceremony prior or after the cremation for an additional yet affordable fee.

Head here to learn more about Bare Funerals.

Here's how Australian funeral trends are changing.

What are the expected costs of a funeral?

Let's look into the common costs associated with funerals, bearing in mind that the overall expenses can vary based on whether it involves a burial or cremation. Here's a simple overview according to Finder in 2023:

  • Funeral Director fee: $3,000
  • Transfer and storage of the deceased at the funeral home: $450
  • Mortuary services: $200-$600
  • Coffins: $800-$8,000
  • Cremation service: $600-$1200
  • Burial services (graveside service): $2,000
  • Embalming: $600-$1,400
  • Additional elements such as flowers, celebrant & family car, etc: $900

How can I save money on funeral costs?

Australians spend heaps on funerals. Primarily, it’s not because they choose elaborate funeral services, but rather because there hasn’t been a more affordable option available. The Australian Seniors Cost of Death Report highlights how around 33% of seniors suffered financial hardship as a result of paying for a funeral. This indicates that for many, the cost of dying is simply too high. Here are a few suggestions to cut down on funeral expenses:

  • Choose cremation over burial. Choose cremation as it eliminates the expenses associated with a costly casket, vault, and cemetery plot.
  • Shop around and compare prices. Gather quotes from various funeral homes in order to compare the costs. This will help you make an informed decision that aligns with your budget.
  • Consider preplanning and prepayment. Plan ahead as it enables you to make thoughtful decisions and avoid making impulsive, emotionally-driven purchases. Additionally, prepayment can help secure current prices and provide protection against potential future cost increases.
  • Choose a basic or eco-friendly coffin. Instead of opting for an extravagant expensive coffin, consider opting for a basic wooden or cardboard one. Additionally, there are eco-friendly alternatives that may be more affordable and have a lesser impact on the environment.
  • Opt for a simple arrangement. Choose a simple and straightforward funeral service without any unnecessary extras. By minimising the use of expensive funeral vehicles and extravagant floral arrangements, you can reduce the funeral expenses.

Final thoughts on the funeral costs in Australia

The choice between burial and cremation plays a crucial role in costs associated with funerals in Australia. Traditional funerals hold a significant place in honouring and remembering loved ones, as they are deeply rooted in family and religious customs for many individuals. However, there is now an increasing trend among Australians to explore alternative funeral options that may be more affordable. At Bare, we understand the importance of creating a respectful farewell that fits within your budget, we offer both Bare Cremation and Bare Funerals that you can select from depending on your preferences.

While managing the costs of a funeral is important, it's also important to remember that the love for your loved one isn't determined by how much money you spend on their funeral. Whether you choose a simpler approach or a more elaborate ceremony, the focus should be on honouring the person who has passed away in a meaningful way.

Our dedicated team is here to help you with compassion throughout the entire process, whether you are looking into arranging a simple cremation, a cremation with service, or pre-planning for yourself. If you're unsure about what's best for you and your family, our team are only a phone call away and would be honoured to assist you. To find out more, or get a free quote for an imminent or prepaid Bare Cremation, visit Bare website or call us anytime on 1800 071 176.

*This is the national average price of a Bare at-need cremation, correct as of February 2024. Please note that prices vary depending on location. If opting for prepaid, prices also vary depending on the instalment frequency and are subject to increase over time. For an accurate quote and cost breakdown for your location, please follow this link.