I'm lucky, in that I married a woman who knows that tools are an investment, rather than an expense. I've yet to hear a complaint when I've bought another tool - mainly because she knows that about 75% of what I build is something she's asked for.
Welcome to the forum, Rookie. Just about anything can be done with hand tools given enough time, patience, and practice. Having said that, if I were to thin out my shop to just one big power tool, I'd have to say that my table saw is my most important tool. Using that logic, it would also have to be first on my list to buy if I were just starting out.
If you have a couple of projects in mind that you'd like to build, consider taking a class or two at your local community college. Classes are reasonably priced, they usually have a decently equipped shop, you'll have an expert right there to help you, and you'll get real hands-on experience with the tools. That'll go a long way toward helping you to decide what tools you really need to get and what tools you'd like to have, but can actually wait.
That's how I got into upholstery. I got a deal on an industrial sewing machine that I couldn't turn down, and took some classes to learn how to use it.