I hate to be a party pooper, but I say get the bike running and rideable and get rid of it. I respect the fact that you wanna ride and not work on the bike, but lets be honest, a 1996 bike is going to require a lot more tlc than a brand new bike.
Not to be harsh, but speaking as a mechanic myself, if its not in your comfort zone, don’t do it. Buy a new, or a lot newer, bike and enjoy it. It’s one thing to have an older, or classic, bike that you have the ability and time to tinker with, but if you don’t, it can just make life miserable and take all the fun out of owning a bike altogether.