hey Wraines, Welcome to the forums!
After reading rdy-b's link I was surprised how much it cost to start!
When I started (last spring) I learned that I could make my own tops and bottoms...I just copied the first one of each that i ordered. I usually get stuff from Dadants but sometimes I find cheaper freight all the way from california.
It was much easier for me to get started because I wouldnt look at the statements when they came in the mail...I would just pay a bigger payment on the monthly credit card bill...So far, this works for me...The biggest cost is the initial purchase.
After you catch a swarm or 2( which you eventually will). You will feel a lot more justified for spending the start up cost....But, you know how it is...Any hobby can get expensive! :)
Well, good luck! you still have plenty of time to make decisions before spring!..Lots of time to read about bees too!