I am also just starting my first marine tank and am therefore starting from scratch. I am comparison shopping across vendors but not waiting for big sales, so I am sure that with a little patience you can get a lot of these items at a lower price.
I am not done yet but here's what I have so far. My tank is 75 gallons with a 30 gallon sump/refugium and you can probably go a size smaller in most items.
Aqueon sump model 4 $299.99
Reef Octopus Extreme skimmer 160 $254.99
GFCI 15 amp adapter $22.74
Eheim Jager 250w heater $25.04
Nova Extreme Pro T5 6 bulb light $349.99
3 titanium heaters $75.00
CPR overflow cs100 800 gph
2 battery air pumps $42.00
API saltwater master test kit $21.00
29 and 10 gallon quarantine tanks $30.00
sponge filter for qt tank $12.00
sealant for securing live rock
book: Conscientious Marine Aquarist $43.00
Tunze nanostream 6045 powerheads x 2 $95.00
50 lb eco-friendly live rock $250.00
50 lb eco-frienly base rock $150.00
portable gas powered generator $200.00
Tunze 1073.020 silence return pump $90.00
Total investment so far = $2,340.75
...and I haven't bought a single fish!