Its not THAT difficult. It is more maintenance, mainly in water chemistry, than a non-planted freshwater tank, but if you set up the tank right, have a good skimmer, and don't over stock, teh tank almost runs itself (which is true of any 'proper' aquarium really).
Reef tanks are a bit more maintenance as you have to maintain alk
and calcium levels, but that's something you can move up to after a few months of fish only or FOWLR
setup. This also makes the transition to salt cheaper, since you won't have to spend $300+ on lighting right away.