Budgets are subjective. There will always be varied opinion on the matter and there will often be someone with bigger, newer kit, keen to tell you what you should buy.
Whatever your budget, it will only buy you tools, but there's no doubt that having the right kit can make a huge difference.
Here are my tips for those venturing into the technology-rich world of photography, but if you read no further, my top piece of advice is this:
Aim for the best gear you can afford and remember, your ability is always your greatest asset.
Forego the bells and whistles
If you intend on spending 3 months capturing the landscape of a local woodland, you're going to need a tripod. The backpack that can hold a 600mm lens can wait.
Sacrificing some of the niceties in favour of the best kit that you need for the job can free up tight funds. Learning to manage without can also give you a better understanding of your basic kit as you learn the pitfalls and develop a better sense of what you really need in future. Incidentally, these 'niceties' are more befitting of a Christmas or birthday list than the latest lens or camera, so your family and friends will thank you for the gift-buying ideas.
As with all technology, cameras and lenses become outdated quickly. You may adore your kit now, but in 3-4 years time, it's likely that some of it will need refreshing. Think ahead and whether it's £50 per month or filling the piggy bank with coppers, anything you can save now will make the next purchase easier.
Don't be afraid to sell your kit in order to replace it with something else. It can be more cost effective to sell your kit frequently and renew it, than to splash out when something breaks.
Basic, budget-friendly kit doesn't preclude you from being an outstanding photographer, but having the wrong kit can make life very difficult. Although not cost-effective in the long-term, there are loads of advantages to hiring kit. Whether you the want to 'try before you buy'; use a specific lens for a short-term project or simply use some kit that you couldn't otherwise afford, consider hiring!