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Some prices go up every year. That doesn't mean you have to pay those increases


Your insurance is up for renewal. Your cell phone contract could be coming to an end after a few years. Cable rates rise as regularly as the sun.

Once or twice a year, the clock resets on various contracts. And there's one thing you can pretty much count on.

"Prices go up without fail," said Dave Totah, a certified financial planner and senior wealth advisor at Exencial Wealth Advisors, in Plano, Texas. "You have to watch out for expense-creep."

It is, however, possible to fight back. In exchange for some phone time, you could save on a number of services.

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It's worth the effort, because those annual increases can add up significantly. When it comes to building wealth, sometimes it's smaller amounts that get in the way, says Brent Weiss, a CFP and co-founder at advisory firm Facet Wealth in Baltimore.

Cutting a monthly subscription here or lowering a bill there can lead to big improvements in your finances.

Hit the pause button on the following three services when it comes time to renew. You might be able to get a cheaper rate.

1. Cheaper driving


"You should never just renew your [car insurance] policy without reviewing costs and benefits," said Sa El, a licensed independent insurance agent and co-founder of a credit information and review site in Atlanta.

El regularly comparison shops his own auto coverage. When rates increase, he wants to know if another insurer will offer the same coverage for less. El also looks to see if another insurer will offer more coverage for the same price as his new, higher rate.

He's used three different companies to keep his rates low.

2. Save on home insurance


Keep in mind that insurance is regulated by the state you live in, so it's not simply a matter of asking for a lower rate, El says.

Research to see what options you do and don't need, and find the company offering that at the lowest cost.

Few people actually shop for home insurance, El says. "Three-quarters go with the coverage suggested by their agent or mortgage broker," he said. "This means that the opportunity for saving on your home insurance is super-high."

For instance, some people are actually insured for things they may not even own.

"[Sometimes] their policies are dated and don't cover them for things like a home office or data protection," he said. "If you don't know what your policy covers, you are in a losing battle and probably losing money." 

3. Threaten your cable company

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Consider negotiating the cost of your monthly cable bill.

"After your first year, the [cable] bill jumps," Weiss said. Most of the time, people simply accept the rate increase.

If you still want cable because you're not ready to cut the cord, Weiss recommends telling your provider you're going to switch to a competitor unless it can do better on the monthly price.

Do your research and see what the competition offers. Then speak with your provider's retention or loyalty department and see what they'll offer to keep you from canceling.

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