Photography is my hobby, and photography is insanely affordable these days.
What is not affordable is gear collecting.
My T3 and a kit lens was only a few hundred dollars a few years ago, and that camera is still producing some fine photos. My current go-to kit is either a pair of 7D bodies, because they're so affordable for what they can do. I would like to upgrade those to 7DII bodies, and add a pair of 5Dsr bodies to the mix as well, along with a lot more very expensive glass to use for different projects... But lets be honest and admit that buying that new gear is expensive and not really needed.
I've added lenses, flashes, hard sided cases, more flashes, more bags, more gear, and lots of things that strictly speaking weren't needed for me to continue enjoying photography as a hobby. They merely allow me to spread my hobby over a far wider range of subjects and styles. I could very easily argue against my own spending and say that I'm spreading myself far too thin. I have a busy life with work and such, and some gear can sit on a shelf for weeks or months at a time without being used. (I really am not sure when the last time I pulled my 28mm lens out... But I still want that on hand for whenever I decide I do want to use it.) I could very easily have continued to enjoy a decade or more of digital photography adventuring and experimentation for $500 and just accepted the limitations of my gear and worked within those boundaries instead.
However I have a full time job, and photography is one of the few things I spend any amount on. So why not spend the money to get more tools to play with and make the hobby more enjoyable for myself?
And rather than spending a ton more on even newer gear like full frame digitals or upgraded 7DII bodies, I ended up taking a bit of a different route. When I want a look and feel that is different than what I can do with my 7D, then these days I reach even farther back in history and pull out a medium format 6x6 camera and load it up with black and white film. (Which while not insanely cheap is still not terribly expensive to develop and scan at home. A home darkroom for making real photographic prints also isn't that expensive to set up. It might be several thousand dollars to get everything you really want for a reasonable setup and renovations, but how many decades are you going to use most of it for? $10,000 spread over 10-20 years is a pretty cheap hobby if you compare it to going out for dinner and drinks with friends every Friday evening for the same period of time.)
Canon EOS 7D | EF 28 f/1.8 | EF 85 f/1.8 | EF 70-200 f/4L | EF-S 17-55 | Sigma 150-500