Debt from Funerals in South Africa
August 31, 2016
The high cost of funerals in South Africa is causing many people to go into debt from funerals. They’re still of the notion that you have to give your family member an expensive funeral to prove you cared for them.
The cost of death in a low-income to a middle-income family can plunge them into a spiral of debt that knows no end. For many low-income people, after taking care of rent, food and water, the next financial priority is the ability to provide an extravagant funeral for a ‘proper’ send-off.
Debt from funerals in South Africa also came about because so many people believe that they have to belong to several burial societies if they want all their family members covered. They don’t believe that with some funeral plans, you can include your entire family as well as extended family for one small premium.
Debt from Funerals – Social Pressures to Spend Beyond your Means
Even in the 21st century, there is still a lot of social pressure for poor people to have enormous funerals just so that they can be well accepted within the community. In South Africa’s townships, the trend to have massive funerals is still the norm. Apart from the coffin, there are also all the costs that go towards providing food for hundreds of people as well as a sacrificial cow.
Members of burial societies are also discovering that the payout isn’t sufficient for the expenses some people have in mind. The burial society might provide 2, 3 or R4 000 for a coffin, but that many African people believe that a ‘decent’ coffin is one which costs 8, 9 or R10 000. These people then have to find the additional R6 000 out of their pocket.
Debt from Funerals – An Expert Speaks
One financial advisor, Frank Magwegwe says people are also finding themselves in debt because of lack of financial planning. His advice would be to make sure that you have sufficient funeral insurance to cover all the major costs of a funeral. Don’t borrow money to pay for funeral expenses and don’t plan for a funeral that is way beyond your financial means.
Most importantly, now is the time to stop living life to please others. If you can’t afford to have a massive funeral, don’t have one even it means losing friends as a result. Only later on, you’ll discover that they weren’t real friends, but rather out to enjoy a ‘party’ on your behalf.
Debt from Funerals – Take Well-Meaning Advice
The costs of funerals are rising year after year, forcing families into debt. In fact, the high cost of funerals is increasing ahead of inflation. Take financial advice. Maya on Money is an excellent website run by Maya, a renowned, award-winning South African financial journalist.
Her aim is to educate people on financial matters. She wants you to ask questions about financial matters and get answers. Her interactive forum encourages people from all walks of life not to spend money on lavish events when there is no money. You’ll learn how to plan a cheap funeral which is every bit as elegant and meaningful as a large one. The best part is that you won’t have any debt afterwards.
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All info was correct at time of publishing