10 things you should stop paying for

HOUSTON – With so many offers, recommendations and ads sent to your email and mailbox, a lot of us are making buying decisions without asking the right questions.

The group Consumer Checkbook has compiled a list of 50 things you should not be paying for; consumer expert Amy Davis has chosen the top 10. 

ID theft protection

Protecting your identity from thieves is important, but paying premiums for ID theft insurance or protection is usually not worth what you get in return. You already get protection from fraudulent credit card charges. 

Consumers Checkbook says you should check with your bank. Some offer free ID theft protection services also. 

Air duct cleaning

We all get those air duct cleaning mailers, but this is another service that is usually not necessary. Despite health claims these companies may make, the Environmental Protection Agency says, "Duct cleaning has never been shown to actually prevent health problems."

Keep your cash.  

Dry cleaning

Did you know clothes that must be dry cleaned will have a tag that say "dry clean only?" If a tag simply says "dry clean," you don't have to take it to the cleaners, it is only a suggestion. Clean it yourself and save the money. 

Extended Warranties

Before you buy an extended warranty or protection plan... stop. Consumers Checkbook says these are rarely a good deal for you. Many credit cards automatically double the length of manufacturers warranties when you pay for items with their cards. 

Amazon Prime

It may not make sense to pay for your Amazon Prime membership anymore either. The service is now $119 a year. If you're only using it for free 2-day shipping, you may be wasting your money. Standard shipping is free on orders of $25 or more, and packages typically arrive in one to five days anyway. If you do use a lot of the other Amazon Prime perks, like cloud storage and streaming services, it may still make sense for you to pay for the subscription. 

Breast pumps

If you have health insurance, your plan is required to cover the cost of a breast pump. 

Debt relief  and debt counseling services 

These programs do not do anything that you can not do yourself. Think about it, if you're already in debt, does it make sense to give money to a third party to help you pay your debt when that money could just go to the creditors you already owe? 

High octane gasoline

Unless your car owner's manual says you should be using anything other than regular unleaded, you are wasting your money on the more expensive fuel. 

Mortgage insurance 

You mortgage company will require you to pay for mortgage insurance if you don't pay at least 20 percent down on your home, but once you have that amount invested in your property, mortgage insurance is no longer required. 

Tax preparation help 

Tax software you can buy online is incredibly easy to use. Majority of Americans don't have complicated returns that require a CPA or other tax specialist to file. Save your money and do your own taxes.