Do you think $500 in AWS credits would be enough to do part 1 and 2 and possibly some of my own projects?
If you are careful about starting and stopping systems, you can get > 500 Hours (on P2 at 0.90c/hr) from your $500 credits. That should be sufficient to get good with materials in Part 1 and 2. One way to stretch it is, not keep the AWS machine ON when watching videos, but use it to run your own experiments.
Everything in Part 1 and 2 runs fast except for the Language Models part. So if you don’t care about building your own language models, you should be fine.