A hammer, screw driver, and a wrench. I'm a little intimidated of more advanced tools, due to my lack of experience with them.What tools (powered and hand) do you own?
I do not have an exact figure, although as long as (1) I am confident in a plan to master the tool and (2) I expect to get good use out of it, I'm willing to invest enough to get what I need.What kind of budget do you have for tools and how far are you willing to go?
I agree with Jeff's approach. :icon_thum+1 to the suggestions above. How about tagging along with your handyman for a little show and tell? A local high school carpentry shop teacher may also be a good resource for some basic learning at your pace and availability; many are quite willing to show you some basics on a Saturday morning.
I don't intend to offend you, but you appear to be lacking in self confidence. Roll up your sleeves and tell yourself that "I can do this too". Get a variable speed drill, a few screws, and a few scrap boards and try it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained in my opinion. You'll step back and applaud yourself on a job well done-"yep, BG, I did this so now I'm ready to roll".