One of the most overwhelming things after the passing of a loved one, or a massive loss, is the impact of financial matters on your life. They say that money cannot buy happiness. No, but it can certainly ease the path towards it! I know if you are suffering a life changing loss, the addition of financial stresses, which under normal circumstances could be dealt with relatively painlessly, take on gigantic proportions.
The first financial whammy you are likely to hit, especially after the passing of a loved one, is the funeral costs. It's a way of paying respects to the person who has passed on, but it shouldn't break the bank! Don't take on more financial stress than you need or can cope with at this delicate stage in your life. If you've anticipated this outlay you may have already contributed to a savings plan dedicated to providing the financial wherewithall for funeral expenses. If not you may find yourself having to add it to a credit card, or getting out a loan to cover the costs. The average cost of funeral expenses in the USA (not including the wake after the service) is approximately $7,000, in the UK it is £4,800 and here in France it is around €3,700
I wrote a blog post here on the formalities involved with declaring a death and arranging a funeral in France.
My point is, finances need to be put in order. I know that day to day living is hard and we always put off things as unimportant, until the time that they become so. Try to have at least an easily accessible savings account with the average cost of a funeral stashed away in it. When the time comes it will be so horrendous the added burden of "how am I going to pay for this?" is something you do not want or need. There are some excellent funeral plans out there to be taken advantage of, but do some research first, don't be led up the garden path by some smooth talking salesman encouraging you to take out a plan that does meet your needs. And more imporantly, do express your wishes as to your final resting place, funeral requirements etc, preferably before you make your transition from this mortal coil! If you don't want to have an actual conversation, leave a letter with your birth, death, marriage certifcates, these will all be required when you go. If you are here reading this you are probably dealing with the passing of a loved one and hopefully they will have had the opportunity to pre-empt all of this for you. If not, it may be worth coming back here when things are less raw and implementing some of these suggestions for your loved ones to take on board when the inevitable time comes.
So one of the things I did to lessen the financial burden moving forward was to create this blog. I figured I could help others in the same boat by providing information and links to people, services and products that could help. I investigated all the site hosting companies out there, and there are loads, but finally settled on SiteGround and to be honest, given that it was a decision made at a somewhat fraught time in my life, it was an excellent choice (even if I do say so myself!). I am a quick learner but I was overwhelmed by what I perceived was the need for technical know-how of Word Press sites, so I opted for a Weebly platform, which operates a drop and drag principle of site building. Both SiteGround and Weebly were extremely helpful in the setting up of my site, now the onus is on me to keep on creating the content (not something that either company can help me with, sadly!)