a 16 gallon would make a good nano. But i don't know if I would recommend a nano for a first time SW
I'll go a little against the flow on this, but I'll say you can
afford a 55 SW
tank on babysitting money.
You just have to be patient. Buy the things you need one part at a time until you have it all, then set it up.
Be frugal, shop around and compare. Keep your eyes on your local paper in the classifieds section for folks selling old tanks etc. Buy the tank and store it somewhere you won't be looking at it so it isn't taunting you to fill it!
buy argonite play sand from home depot for your substrate. Go for base rock instead of live rock. Buy what you can when you can. It's dry so you can buy it whenever there is a good sale and just store it away until you're ready. Wait until you find a good sale on some PC
lights and power heads. Get handy, find DIY projects to cut some other costs.
can by a very affordable hobby if you have the patience to hold out!