There is no straight forward answer to this question. I depends on a broad variety of factors that can all impact the cost of an acoustic guitar.
Acoustic guitars can be as cheap as $29 and the priciest version I know of is Eric Clapton’s C.F. Martin & Co., from circa 1939 which has a reported value of $791,500. I didn’t do too much research on this topic so I wouldn’t be surprised if there are even more expensive acoustic guitars out there. Obviously, these models are not available for purchase in regular music stores and the reason why they come with these ridiculous price tags is because they have been played or owned by famous guitarists.
However, I think it is reasonable to assume that you came here as somebody who doesn’t know too much about guitars and who just like to get a rough idea on what you need to pay out for a decent acoustic guitar. So here’s what I think on that topic.
How much does a decent acoustic guitar cost me?
Aha, you see I slightly rephrased the original question and added the qualifier “decent”, which is leaves us still with a fairly broad spectrum of acoustic guitars to look at, but at least helps to somewhat narrow the scope down.
If you are a beginner who just made the decision to learn to play the guitar, I think you should spend anywhere between $100 and $200. I wouldn’t go lower than $100, because that gives you at least a little bit of assurance that you’ll get a model that is suitable for your purposes. But I also wouldn’t pay more than $200, because at this point in time you probably don’t know whether you will stick with it. The truth of the matter is, most people who start learning guitar will give up fairly soon in the process. So there is no point in spending a lot of money on something who you don’t know you are going to keep at in the long term.
This also raised another good point I always advise people to consider. If you can, borrow a guitar from a friend or family member for a little while. I am almost certain that there is somebody in your circle who has an unused acoustic guitar sitting around somewhere. This is a good opportunity for you to get started. And if it turns out that you want to stick with your new hobby, you can always go out and get a new one for yourself. But by then you will have gained enough experience and you will have a better idea of what you are looking for.