A good pair of binoculars (at least 10/50 and a tripod to hold them because it's hard to keep them steady. I have a pair this size and I can see Jupiters moons with them.
You might also like to have a book with lots of illustrations and suggestions on how to "star hop".
And a lasar pointer is really great fun if you have friends viewing with you. Make sure to have extra batteries on hand.
You should be able to get all these things with $300.
And, for a beginner, becoming familiar with the night sky is more important than equipment anyway.
If you start to crave a bigger "light bucket" try to find a local club near you. Those folks love to share with a newcomer and their experience will help you a lot.
You don't have to be rich to travel to the stars