I understand many don’t have money to afford Photoshop, personally I think it’s way overpriced which is why I’ve stayed with Photoshop CS2 for the last 5 years. Now we all know there are means by which people can obtain Photoshop (which I don’t advocate) but that’s not to say there isn’t some free alternatives out there which are good enough to use.
GIMP is probably the first one I’d suggest people use, it does quite a lot of what Photoshop does, in fact it looks a hell of a lot like Photoshop in many ways. I’ve used it a couple of times and although it lacks a few things Photoshop has, it more or less can get the job done for the amateur photo manipulator. Although it works fine on my computer I’ve heard from people that it can slow the CPU down if you’re running an older machine, so be mindful of that. You can download GIMP here.
Another free option is by Worth1000, there’s no actual software to download here, but Worth1000 has some free tools you can use in Flash, including an image editing tool called Aviary. I’ve played around a bit with it, overall it’s not quite as good as GIMP but it has many of the basics that Photoshop has, it’s got layers and colour correction and a library of filters, so there’s enough there to work with. As I said you don’t need to download anything, but you will need to register an account to save your work, just head on over to the Worth1000 homepage and look for the Free Design Tool Image Editor button at the bottom of the page.
Now, if you really want to use Photoshop, well you can always hunt through eBay for older versions of the program and see what price you can get it for, but personally I’d save my money if there are perfectly good free alternatives.