Money

Spending less over the holidays boils down to one key mindset shift

Black Friday was, once again, one of the biggest spending days of the year. Shoppers spent $1 million per minute at the peak of the holiday.

The spending frenzy continued on Cyber Monday and will likely continue to some extent throughout the rest of the holiday season. After all, stores are carefully designed to trick you into overspending.

While you can score big deals around the holidays, one of the biggest mistakes consumers make is buying things they don't need just because they're on sale. As "Shark Tank" investor Kevin O'Leary tells CNBC Make It, "If you're spending money on something you wouldn't have bought otherwise just because it has a '50 [percent] off' sticker on it, you're still throwing away your hard-earned dollars."

Curbing your spending this holiday season may boil down to a single shift in mindset. "As we head into the holidays, all we think about is buying buying buying," says Scott Levitan, Chief Marketing Officer at Mercari, which lets you buy and sell things straight from your phone.

"We shouldn't just think about buying," the CMO tells CNBC Make It. "Think about having a home in which the things around you are useful to you."

Taking the time to think through your purchases, to question whether they will actually make you happy or add value to your life, can result in huge savings.

"Think about having a home in which the things around you are useful to you." -Scott Levitan, Mercari CMO

There's nothing wrong with being a consumer over the holidays, Levitan notes. But make sure your cash is well, rather than impulsively, spent.

This simple mindset shift helped one millennial bank $150,000 by age 26.

"Question the things you're spending your money on," the super saver says. "Just because your friends enjoy spending lavishly on clothes, doesn't mean that's for you. ... Don't waste money on things that aren't important to you."

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Don't miss: 5 tricks stores use to get you to spend more during the holiday season