Read all the 94-95 Stickies, all of them will help, in your case particularly the timing cover and intake sticky. If you didn't know, the 94,95 has unique water pump and timing cover, the 79-93 kits won't work.
Your budget depends on some sort of goal. To be honest, 2000$ will go real fast just replacing aged high mileage maintenance parts that need to be replaced anyways. I've probably spent over 2,000$ just doing stupid stuff that broke on me. But, if you want to do a real budget buildup for a little more fun, maybe not serious 1/4 mile times but still pretty fun (mid 13's maybe) then here is my budget build:
GT40 or GT40P explorer heads. 100-200$ salvage yard, about 350$ to clean, mag and do a basic valve job=450-550$
Headers, summit shorties: 180$
Explorer Intake: Salvage yard 50-100$ 100-150$ ebay/cl
Cam of choice: 250-350$
Upgrade valve springs (TFS) 150$
All gaskets, valve seals etc. 150$
Stock: 215hp, 15sec 1/4 mile New: 260-290hp 1/4 mile prob mid-sub 14's
3.73 gears on stock trac loc, just a rebuild kit: 175$ + 130$=305$
labor at most shops for install: 300$
Total: 600$ (pretty expensive, may be cheaper by you)
Stock: 3.08 (five speed) New:3.73 prob knock .2-.5 off the 1/4
add misc. other things, prob be 2,000$ or just over.
Stock: 15 sec 1/4 mile, 0-60 in about 6.5 seconds
Budget modded: mid to possibly low 13's, 0-60 in around 5 seconds.
This was what I did to mine, but I have an auto so its prob more like only a 14 in the 1/4 for me if I'm lucky.
95' GT. GT40X 64cc heads. XE264HR with 1.7RR. AODE built to 98+ 4R70W specs and PI 3500 stall. 4.10 gears. Bama tune.