I've spent $280 on all my equipment, including grain mill, since I've started brewing about a year ago. Style for style it's a hell of a lot cheaper. I'm satisfied with my equipment, however I have spent quite a bit on my keggerator. Not necessary, just something nice. I have plenty of people to give me bottles. I know I've saved a hell of a lot of money by brewing, rather than buying the same styles of beer at the store.
Do I brew my own beer to save money? No. I brew because I love good beer and love making it even more, from scratch, and my own recipes. I just end up saving money in the long run had I been buying craft beer instead.