After 4 years if being an assistant director, I woulx buy my own equipment and start making films
I tried to post a full list of affordable options, but can't yet, as I'm a new user.
Try to message me at Mark at markhensley dot tv
I was in the same boat as you.
Realised how important lighting is, but didn't have the money to spend +$100 for every light.
My entire setup including rechargeable batteries was under $300