This was my first build.
I started this build knowing that I wanted a running machine before I had the GPU because I was waiting for a good deal on one. Integrated graphics was a must, with the intention to upgrade to a dedicated card in the future.
I bought everything either on-sale, open-box, or used. Nothing full retail, except the RAM.
Processor: The i5-8400 is amazing bang-for-your-buck, possibly outmatched only by the 9th gen (not out at the time I purchased). I have no knowledge of overclocking and did not want to add cost to the motherboard, so non-k processors were only considered. The i3-9100 would also be a good choice if you want to pinch the budget a little tighter and are OK sacrificing 2 cores. Now that 9th gen is out, I'd recommend i5-9400. Purchase price (used, private sale): $110
Motherboard: Gigabyte provides good budget motherboards, and this one supports 8th and 9th gen Intel. HDMI was a must for easy connectivity, 4 RAM slots, 1 PCIe16 slot, LOTS of USB slots, mATX form factor. Only down side, no on-board WiFi. Gigabyte support is also not great. Purchase price (open-box, Newegg): $52
Memory: The motherboard cannot run this RAM at full speed, but that is not an issue. Like the simple color scheme. (everything else on this build is black/white. G.Skill is a good brand, and RAM is RAM (for the most part). One stick for now, will purchase a second stick when on sale. Purchase price (new, Ebay): $37
Storage: Samsung SSD speed is unmatched. 250 GB will be plenty to get me started. I also had an extra 128 GB M.2 Samsung SSD from when I upgraded my laptop's memory to 256 GB. Threw that in as well, just for extra space but will likely not be used for a while. Purchase price (open-box, Amazon): $55
Video Card: I had already decided on a 1660/1660-ti (whichever happened to be most on sale at the time) and was planning to wait for Black Friday. Found an ad on my local Facebook marketplace. $150 for 1660-ti last weekend (8/16/2019)! Deal of a lifetime! Have not seen this price for any 1660 anywhere, ever. Especially not the ti version. Purchase price (used, private sale): $150
Case: Simple mATX case here. Nothing special. Good rebate deal from Newegg. Like the clear side panel so I can see inside, even though my build is black/white with no LEDs. The only downside, the bevel above the PCIe16 slot (for the GPU) is quite large so I had to trim some of the plastic off the top of the HDMI cord to get it fully seat in the HDMI port. Would suggest making this slot wider manually before installing anything. Purchase price (new, Newegg): $18
Power Supply: Can't beat Corsair quality and definitely don't want to cheap out on the PSU. Plenty of power for most chips/cards. Semi-modular. Rebate from Newegg. Purchase price (new, Newegg): $45
Network Adapter (does not fit with dual-slot GPU): Was thinking I'd want a WiFi card (bought before GPU), but the 1660-ti is a double-slot card in the only PCIe16 slot the motherboard has. The double-slot width covers the smaller PCIe slot so the network adapter cannot be plugged in a the same time as a double-slot card. Purchase price (open-box, Amazon): $34
Keyboard: Mechanical Corsair wired keyboard. Nothing fancy, just really like Corsair as a company and they make quality products. Purchase price (open-box, Amazon): $50
Monitor: Was unsure of curved monitors at first, had never used one. I've come to love it. Honestly, it is so much more comfortable for your eyes. This MSI is only 1080p, but I do not intend to game in 4k, 1080p is plenty HD for me. The 1660-ti can easily handle 4k if you get a different monitor. No sound, but I use a headset anyway. Purchase price (prime day, Amazon): $110
Grand total (with peripherals): $661
PC only: $501