I've been an electronics hobbyist since my father set me up with a short-proof, low-voltage power supply and a bunch of lights, switches, buzzers, bells, relays, and a whole lot of hook-up wire. This would have been about 1948 when I was 5 years old or thereabouts.
I have designed and built the electronics parts of stage illusions for magicians, rewound antique vacuum cleaner motors, converted old jukeboxes to use modern electronics without permanently destroying their antique value.
My first home computer (1978) kit cost 2 NCUs (New Car Units - the cost of a base model Ford or Chevy). I figure that would be about $50,000 today. If you want to be an early adopter, you have to make some sacrifices.