I was an exceedingly frugal kid, so I never really had any Transformers growing up. My parents wouldn't buy them for me and I didn't want to spend my own money on them. I had a grand total of 4 growing up. Two I bought in late high school for a quarter each (Universe Razorclaw and Armada Smokescreen) and two I got accidentally in elementary school - I had purchased a small bag of toy cars at a Boy Scout fundraiser for $1 and discovered there were Transformers in it when I got home. But at that age I was a Beast Wars kid and didn't give two hoots about G1 Hubcap and G2 Hook. I threw them in the toy bin and forgot about them for years. Lol.
The first Bay movie is what got me into collecting, oddly enough. I pulled my money together right before it premiered and purchased a few figures (Barricade, Ratchet and Jazz, at first, followed by Bee, Blackout and entry mode Starscream after the movie aired). I was in college though, so I was really very limited in what I could spend. Absolutely fell in love with Animated when it aired too, but didn't own any figures while in school.
After graduating and finding a full time job, I started buying 2-4 figures a month (mostly deluxes, but there were a few voyagers). My first focus was Animated, despite having begun (casually) with the Bay-verse. Things have grown from there.