When visiting a friend, you see they've recently updated their their kitchen to have a new tile backsplash, and it looks great. They tell you it was really easy, you just need to buy the tiles you like from the home improvement store and stick them to the wall with mortar.
The task is surely more nuanced than that, so you research the details on the internet and discover a nice tutorial article on HomeDepot's website and a YouTube video which walks you through the whole process. It should take about one weekend of work and the total cost should be $1000 less than hiring a general contractor. The only problem is that you don't have the specialty tools required: a notched trowel, a tile cutter, and a mortar mixer.
You could buy these, but do you really have the space in your home to have these sit for the coming years? If you expect to use them for only this one project, renting is a good idea - you should be able to find them at a rental business near you.
Check the variety of these items in the Minneapolis area you can rent: