You need to be a smart shopper. I have never paid full-price for any of my gear. All said and done, I paid about $300 for all my camera equipment that's in my signature. I could not afford to be in this hobby without being a smart shopper.
Lenses will have a higher resell value than other camera equipment due to the fact they don't get upgraded every model year like camera bodies.
If you buy a used lens, you will most likely not lose any money from the purchase.
Please tell me where you shop!