It's funny when people said, when you're a student, you have time, but you have no money; but then when you grow up, you will have more money but you will be in lack of time. That's real for most people, so what could we do?
In short, I would say, we shall try to take advantage of our advantages in different phrase of our life.
As you could see from my blog, when I was still a student, I took my small scope everywhere, to darker sky, even when I was going hiking and camping. That alone gives the best return of my investment (despite small). There is no substitute for dark sky! But it takes time to go there, and to spend your time there. Therefore, this is the single best thing that we could do when we have less money but more time.
Again, as you could see from my blog, now I'm more locked at home and my work. I don't have much money but of course, I could spend more now when compared to the good old days. So, what did I do now? Sometimes I even could not go out at night! Sungazing is one of the way out and this is my focus for these years. Next, planet imaging is great as well, for it could be done under very light polluted skies! And it takes far less time, you don't have to get very great polar alignment, you don't have to do hours of exposure, you don't have to have very clear sky! And you know, all these can even be done indoor with an open window. That's what I have been doing for all these years!
Astronomy is a life long hobby, you can enjoy it whenever and with whatever budget!