Where do you live?
Just join a sailing club. They'll teach you the basics. Once you've been on a few trips, have hung around marinas and chatted with people to learn the ropes so to speak - then buy a used 12-16' sailboat for $1000 or so - that's like saving $100 a month for more or less a year. Practice on that and gradually learn and later buy bigger.
That's what I'm planning on doing - I'll go on at least 3 weekend trips this year - 1st one this weekend - 2 of the trips are for beginners. In the meantime I'm reading anything\everything on sailing and the sea - fiction, non-fiction, sailnet forums, etc. I think that this time next spring (or late fall '07) I'll buy a small sailboat for a $1000 or so - single-sail, enough room for me to sit in - spend '08 sailing, capsizing, and sailing some more after I've righted the boat.
Do that for '08 & '09 while still going on trips with the local sailing club learning more and more as I go. Then by the end of '09 selling my small boat for a $1000 or so - more if I spend time fixing it up - and with money saved from now till then - buy maybe a older Pearson 26 for $5000-$8000. Use that to practice single-handling a larger boat plus it has the capability to sleep on for overnight trips.
Repeat - in 2012 sell the Pearson 26 for $5000-8000 or more after fixing it up, and upgrade to maybe a Catalina 30 for $18,000-25K - might need to buy one on the cheaper end needing some work and spend all my free time over the course of a year making repairs
And so on and so on until I can afford a boat big\sturdy enough for blue water passages.
But it all starts this weekend and when I buy that old little Sunfish or Laser.