You really don't have to spend a huge amount of money to get a really good whisky. Unless you're looking to invest then it's simply a case of trying what you can and and having a selection of favourites.
For me - my favourites are mainly local to me. Ardmore (4 miles away) Glen Dronach and Glen Garioch (both around 13 miles) but Balvenie has to be no.1 in my book. (only about 30 miles away) I have yet to try a Balvenie which I don't like and the Tun 1401 batches are simply sublime. They are relatively expensive compared to other Balvenie bottlings but if you are disciplined to keep one you will almost certainly make a bit of cash. That said, my staple diet id 12 Y/O doublewood - simply delicious and only about £30 per bottle here and I've seen it in the US for around the equivalent price in USD.
My wife is from Orkney and I also love Highland Park. Just the right amount of smokieness to make it spicy and tangy without being overly heavy or peaty. Again, fairly cheap at around £25 per bottle.
Neither of these are particularly collectable however. If you want to collect then you really need to be buying special editions (which do not necessarily have to be overly expensive) or anything that is made in small batches - especially if you get Batch 1. Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch 1 sells for around £1800 a bottle having only cost £150 a bottle when released. Batch 2 is just as lovely (to me) but sells for a modest £350 or so (again it was released for £150)
Above all however your aim should be to enjoy the whisky.