The words he spoke can very quickly turn true...
So - really - a reasonable budget limit should be given. From my posts one might conclude I will be pushing for ever better/pricier gear. NOT true - but you can acuse me of having determination and tenacity surpassing that of your pitbull when we are meandering about equipment that could by really modest increase of funds at least start stopping being dangerous to records - like two fold increase of price for the stylus, taken together say additional 100 bucks. It is in this price segment that is most likely really meaningful differences regarding record wear are likely to occur. Remember - you can not put a better stylus tip profile than that used on Audio Technica AT440MLa (approx $200 ) on any other cart at any price. True - quality and mass of the diamond can be better with increasing price, etc etc - which will gain you better sound. But you can not significantly improve record wear with even the best available cartridge having the same stylus tip profile or to be more precise, same contact surface with the record groove walls. It does not and will never get better than that - any "sharper" than Micro Line profile would recut the groove - this is the end of the road.
So - I will be tenacious in suggesting you to get to the level where your equipment will support the requirements for Micro Line or equivalent stylus tip profile. It can never be cheap, but can be made reasonable. Once you have this level, you can rest easy until you win a lottery or similar in order to get
whatever you might fancy - because your records will remain in immaculate condition. By then, you shoul gather enough experience in order to make an informed decision where to go next.