Back to the table saw... Look for a Bosch saw, used or in an estate sale. It is clearly darn good and like most Bosch is smooth and fairly quiet. Get some Grippers to keep your hands away from the blade and to give you a good grip on the workpiece. The Gripper lets you push forward, down and to the fence all at once, and that gives you real control, which is what keeps you from injury.
Safety is really a matter of thinking about what you're doing. I think through pretty much every cut I make before doing it. And I just can't bring myself to get fingers closer than about 4 inches from that blade, and I get very focused on the task as a result. I also won't wear a long sleeve shirt when using the table saw, it's just asking to have your arm pulled into the blade.
Given how much you two work with wood, I bet you'll keep that saw busier than you imagined.
The other tool I love using is a band saw. I have a 12 inch Rikon in the shop I seem to use for nearly all my projects, even if it's just rounding a corner, cutting a circle, cutting a relief to fit around a post. My big 14 inch Laguna saw with a half inch blade can do much of what a table saw can do, but it's never as nice a cut as the table saw.
At any rate, since you mentioned costs are a consideration, my suggestions have been tempered by that consideration. On digging and DIY on much of the electrical subpanel, you might save enough to cover getting a saw.
I just think with your creative impulses, that a table and/or band saw will enable you to go to another level. On signs, for example, being able to shape the stock with a band saw will let you do some interesting stuff. The Rikon (same as a WEN brand) cost about $300 new, a little less for the WEN.
Although cost is a factor, I think freeing up your artistic expression is more important. You've got a creative streak I think most of us here really admire.
Nice to see Ken is enjoying the shop as well.
The more I do, the less I accomplish.