Home > Lifestyle > If You’re Gonna Talk the Talk……..

If You’re Gonna Talk the Talk……..


achieving financial goals

We’ve all heard the expression, “Talk the Talk or Walk the Walk”, meaning that sometimes people talk a really good game but often don’t follow through with any action It’s very easy to say what sounds the best, but the hard part comes when an actual decision has to be made to achieve results, especially if you haven’t been honest with yourself before starting the talk.

Tiny House Oxymoron

One of my favorite things to do when we stay in hotels is watch HGTV, the only real thing I miss since cutting the cord. As it turns out on a recent weekend trip, they were doing back to back episodes of Tiny House Builders, a show where people trade in traditional housing to live in super small, portable, tiny houses.

The couple in one of the episodes wanted to build a tiny house as a way to inflict less of a footprint on the world and to minimize the need for consumerism in their lives. Noble causes indeed, until they ran into some snags.

Many tiny homes are made with pine or cedar shingles because of their light weight, but the couple on HGTV chose to go with reclaimed barn wood. It was environmentally friendly but added tremendous bulk to their home. Because of the weight, their current truck could not haul the house. Instead of changing to a lighter material, the couple chose to buy a bigger truck. In fact, the truck they purchased was more than double the cost of the house.

Now, I am not criticizing this couple for using barn wood or buying a truck. Obviously, the look of their house was more important to them than having it be mobile enough to work with what they already had. There is nothing wrong with building your house the way you want. But why didn’t they express this going in? To say you want to minimize your footprint and decrease consumerism only to buy an enormous, expensive, gas guzzling vehicle is not walking the walk.

Be Careful About Rationalizing

I used to rationalize the huge amount of stuff we bought on a monthly basis. It was either on sale or something we would get great value from. I rationalized right into $30,000 of credit card debt, and I’m not alone. It’s possible to come up with a plausible reason for just about anything.

  • If I buy this pair of shoes, I’ll surely ace my job interview.
  • If I go out for drinks after work, I’ll be able to network and increase my job prospects.
  • If we buy a more new car, we’ll save money on gas.
  • If I buy this now, I’ll surely have enough money to pay it off before the bill comes.

And on and on and on. It’s all just talk to hide the fact that we feel the need to justify our spending.

Why Justify Spending?

There are multiple reasons:

  • We’re trying to pay off debt, save for a goal, retire early.
  • We want to feel good about spending hard earned money.
  • We want acceptance from others.

After fighting to get out of debt, I sometimes have a hard time parting with money. I felt bad about buying new work clothes recently, even when my two best pair of work pants had a broken zipper and a ragged hemline.

I won’t lie. Part of that is because of this blog and what other people would do better in my situation. This can be a good or bad thing. While it’s important to be mindful about spending, you really don’t have to justify financial decisions to anyone other than yourself.

Obviously, it’s not OK to blow money right and left when you don’t have enough to cover the bills, but when you have control of your finances and know there is plenty of money for buying new work pants or even a new truck to haul your tiny house, it’s OK.

I think many personal finance people gasp and moan when we see people spending money in ways we wouldn’t consider necessary, but the whole point of personal finance is that it’s personal. What I value might not mean much to you and vice versa.

The most important thing is knowing what is important and having a plan to make it possible. Otherwise known as walking the walk. Once you have goals and plans, you can stop talking and actually get things done. You really never need to apologize, even if you decide to buy a Ford F-8000000 mega hauling truck!

Do you think people need to explain why for every purchase? Could you live in a tiny house?

About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. I think you bring up a valid point Kim. It can be so easy to think you need to do one thing over another because of how others might view it. That’s especially easy to do in the online world – or even with friends or family. I say as long as you’re being mindful about your spending you really only need to justify things to yourself. We all have different goals/priorities and you have to do what’s right for you – not what someone else thinks is right.

    • It’s kind of good to have someone looking over your shoulder but at the same time, if you have defined goals, you shouldn’t have to answer to anyone.

  2. Don’t forgot clothes you buy for work are a tax write off, it that makes it any more justifiable to you. I think a broken zipper calls for new pants though anyways. And Heck no, I could not live in a tiny house. I live in a condo and that’s small enough for me.

  3. lol that does seem rather odd to make that choice! I have a debate with myself constantly. I think I, and my business could benefit from getting a business coach. Sometimes I feel like I’m on a deserted island all by myself when it comes to making business moves. But, money is so tight and I have now a little consumer debt, so my rational mind thinks that’s crazy! But what if hiring a business coach actually helps me bring in MORE money? To someone who is not a freelancer, hiring a business coach or something of the sort might seem ridiculous, but not to many who run their own business. For now, no coach, but it’s those kind of money decisions which I find toughest.

    • I have lots of optometry colleagues who’ve hired practice management coaches and I think they felt it was worth it. I’m not sure I could be open enough to let someone pick apart my business, but I guess that would allow you to grow and see things from a different perspective.

  4. I love when you see that. They try to minimize their footprint only to buy something that is worse for the environment than their house. Classic!

    I wouldn’t want to live in a tiny house. I see that is a big thing now, but not for me. I’ve been in a tent for a week with my wife and we were done with each other after that! Need some private space.

    By the way, you can watch HGTV on Sling TV. Just check out DR as I just updated the review.

    • I almost threw my shoe at the TV when they said they bought a new truck!

      We tried Sling but honestly didn’t watch it enough to justify the $20 per month.There is always something else I need to be doing. I should have also added that one of my favorite things about being on a trip is taking time to actually watch TV.

  5. I am fascinated by the tiny homes and how they maximize space but admit that I have no desire to live in one. I love Chris and the girls, but we all need some space for ourselves too. 🙂 As you know I’m a huge proponent of value-based decisions. We do often justify our expenses, sometimes because we are spending when we know we shouldn’t and other times because we worry that others might judge us for what or how we choose to spend our money. I get that a lot and while it can be frustrating, I also have the confidence of knowing that I use my money in alignment with my values and live within my means.

    • One thing I learned from living in hotel rooms for 3 weeks this summer is that we all need out space. I can’t imagine being forever cooped up in 200 sq feet of space!

  6. I’m not a fan of tiny houses mainly because I feel they are impractical. Why do you have to downsize to such a serious degree? I think you can still be minimalist without moving down to, say, a 200 square foot home. It just doesn’t make much sense to me.

    • I can see it if you want to travel around, but then an RV would probably work just as well. It would be really though to live in that small of a space with kids. I could probably get by with lots less stuff, but I actually want to keep some things like my daughter’s art projects and my wedding dress. I can’t imagine not having anything sentimental at all.

  7. I have joked with my husband repeatedly that I would love to live in a tiny house. I hate to clean and keep up with my own home that I’m convinced a tiny home would remove so much of that stress and clutter. I’m not gonna lie, though, I would really miss my clothes closet if we moved. That would take some management to figure out how to fit in the tiny home.

    • I sometimes wish for less space, but I would have a hard time giving up everything to go tiny. We wouldn’t have room to store holiday decorations or sports equipment. I wonder if some of the tiny house dwellers actually have storage units.

  8. Sometimes I have to focus to make sure I’m not justifying spending. It’s more about deciding what we can skip versus what we will get great value from. Sometimes I horribly misjudge that. But I think I’ve gotten better about it.

    But yeah, it’s easy to get so focused on a goal that you end up being somewhat self-defeating. Like when you’re so focused on saving money by going to various grocery stores that you spend the savings in gas. (Less true now, but during the recession/gas-gouging…)

    • Yes, to get so hung up on saving a few dollars while driving all around or spending a few yours of precious time is not worth it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *