The old adage of "time is money" is so much relevant to Photography that's frightening.
Let's make it abundantly clear: Photography is a technology-driven and technology-dependant art. By that I mean that, technological level of the tools play a major role in freeing the practitioner to follow their creative vision.
Similarly, Music is on the same level: sure, you can make music with the hollowed out bone from a mammoth, like our ancestors did some fifty thousand years ago, but are you willing too? Besides, how would you make your art available to your audience? Because, any form of art that isn't shared in some form or other, is probably an experiment in creative autism. If you make music today, you need at least some decent method of recording your work. Fortunately, technological progress allowed for such tools to become affordable to almost anyone.
Other arts such as Dance, Theater and Painting, probably don't rely as much on technological innovation, but Photography does, and I hope we agree on that. This is one reason photographers obsess with their gear; or the gear they think they ought to have. The belief that the newest (or, just a different one) piece of equipment will give us more or better creative opportunities, is both a dangerous fantasy and a probable truth.
But let's get back to our idiom (attributed to Benjamin Franklin). When someone starts with Photography, one has much more time than money in their hands. He or she is usually young, probably a student, and, after all, what is time when you are passionate about something and you still believe you shall live forever?
Inevitably, at some point, time becomes a much more expensive commodity. This is unrelated to whether one decides to pursue a professional career in Photography. At this point, it becomes obvious that you can use cheaper equipment and invest more time, or invest in equipment that makes your work (or hobby) easier and have more time in your hands. The equation is almost always relevant.
And, certainly, it's not exclusive to equipment. Cost of doing business (or hobby) may include travel, booking a model for a shooting, hiring a make-up artist or simply attending a photography course. The last point, concerning photographic education, is crucial: it's sometimes incredible how much time we can save by investing in knowledge. Same goes for photographic software. It's not a new lens, camera or lighting item, but sometimes a new software plugin may save countless hours of frustration.
This is a fine line one has to walk on. Always balancing time and money, because neither is unlimited. Hope we all have the discretion needed, down the road.