Entry for August 2019's Guitar Of The Month is now open!
Don't over strategize it. Just work on the guitar, get it right, and then see where you are. I think it's a mistake to wade into this stuff looking for a dollar angle. It's a good way to get discouraged. But if you wade into it looking for a way to build your chops, whether playing or building / repairing, you will succeed. Somewhere along the line it might even stop costing you way too much money, and at least in theory, some time after that you might find yourself money ahead.