Refitting an old boat on a budget, while possible, is no easy task. It's also a lot of work and in our current world real work is not something a lot of people are comfortable with.
It also takes a certain amount of brain power. While I won't throw stones in that direction there are a lot of people these days who are somewhat challenged in that area.
Which, dear reader, tells me that if you're reading this you're not only have the needful work ethic, basic math skills, and intelligence to fit out an old boat and go sailing.
The good news is that inflation and a shortage of boat slips is making a lot of excellent boats available. The downside is that you need to be able to find a place to put your boat while refitting and that might actually be the most expensive part of the project.
Maybe it's good time to point out that doing an unnecessary refit on a boat is the height of silliness. Any refit is going to be expensive and time consuming.
Sure, we all want to make a boat our own and sort out things the way you want them to be. That said, sailboats are mobile and, providing the boat is seaworthy, can be sailed to a place where a refit is both feasible as well as affordable.
Some folks are lucky enough to have a big yard or access to a usable site but the current boatyard rents/charges or extortionate marina practices make sailing off to a more hospitable location a good idea.
Which is a roundabout way of saying finding an affordable mostly turnkey boat with minimal issues should be your current mantra. Bottom line it's a whole lot easier to fix up a boat in good shape than one that's landfill fodder.