DO NOT pinch pennies and buy the cheapest SCUBA gear you find . . . the gear you use may one day have to save your life!

My advice is to rent the gear you need from your local dive shop until you find the brands/styles that work best for you. Your dive shop can steer you in the right direction. And if you get to know your dive shop owner, you might get discounts on gear as well (I do)

Buy one piece at a time if you need to, you don’t have to buy all at once.

Most important big $$$ gear IMO: BCD, Regulator, computer
You really want to stick with quality brands when buying these. I use Cressi, but Scuba Pro, Sherwood, Mares, and Oceanic are as good.

Enjoy diving!