I have used Linux Mint full-time since 2011. It just gets better every year. Part time and/or Ubuntu for a few years before that.
So I've been using Linux for a while. Today, all my home PCs use Linux, including the wife & kids' PCs.
Our software budget is approximately $0/year. It's great! But it's better than that -- we always have everything up-to-date as well. Years ago, we stuck with Windows XP and didn't spend much on software, but we were more out-of-date with every passing year. Now we have the best of both worlds.
I used to use an aging (but legit) copy of Photoshop 6.0, but I soon realized that a 20-year-newer version of GIMP was superior. The same for other software. We switched from an aging copy of Office 2003 to the latest LibreOffice, and don't really miss anything.
I use Linux Mint with the MATE desktop (yes, you get to choose your desktop, which is basically the skin or look & feel or what you actually see and interact with). If you want fancy, you should go with the Cinnamon desktop. Mint is one of the best distributions of Linux. It has all the advantages of Ubuntu, but a team of dedicated developers has developed some apps and other polish for it, which I really miss when I use plain Ubuntu now.