If you can only afford one camera, get a digital one. It’s a one time expense, so if money is an issue at all it’s much better to take a picture that would have been nicer with film than to not take a picture at all because you wanted to eat that night.
You can take all the pictures you want, recklessly, mockingly, any which way at all and not spend another penny for the rest of your life.
It’s a wonderful sense of freedom.
I don’t know how much you’re looking to spend though, which might change things a bit.
Which cameras have you been looking at?