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!