This is the easiest guitar to play with your fingers
When you want a guitar that absolutely will not hurt your hands and is effortless to play, you want one of these.
The guitar seen above is a Fender FA-15N. Yes, you can afford it. It is a real Fender guitar, so if you always wanted a Fender, wanted it new and wanted it cheap, there you go.
More importantly however, what I'm talking about here is the type of guitar that is, without question, the easiest to play with fingers. It's the 3/4 scale classical acoustic.
"Classical" means "uses nylon strings", and 3/4 size means it's a smaller body, typically with a scale length of under 24 inches.
Classical guitars are supposed to be played with nothing but fingers. Yes, you can use a pick if you wish, but you're not supposed to because that can wreck the strings fast. However, the workaround for that is to use wooden guitar picks, as they have a very soft pick strike.
When you play a 3/4 size classical guitar, the combination of short scale, fat neck (which most have) and nylon strings make for the easiest playing guitar you'll ever have.
Playing nylon strings even on a full size classical (a.k.a. a concert size) is already easy, but playing on a 3/4 size with a short scale neck is even easier. You barely need any force to press the strings to the frets. It is way easier to play on nylon strings compared to steel.
Is a 3/4 size too small of a guitar?
The 3/4 size classical acoustic is somewhat similar in size to a parlor acoustic steel string guitar.
Playing a 3/4 scale doesn't feel wrong nor does it look goofy playing one live in front of people. While not the full size of a regular dreadnought shape acoustic, it's certainly larger than a ukulele.
In other words, yes, you will get along with the size just fine.
You will also notice many 3/4 size classical guitars don't even have 20 frets. Some like the Fender shown at top only have 18. Is that enough? Yes. I can confidently say that it's very unlikely you will ever go past the 12th fret on a classical guitar. Nylon strings lose a lot of vibration the higher you go on the neck, much more so than steel string. On the classical, most if not all of what you play will only use the first 7 frets at most.
Does it project?
No. A 3/4 size classical is a quiet guitar by nature. And even if you bought a bigger concert size classical, it's not all that much louder.
Does that mean you should get one with a piezo pickup in it? You can if you want, but only if you intend on playing live in front of people. For home recording, the best way to record a classical is with a microphone on a stand pointed at the 12th fret. (A beginner's mistake is to point the microphone at the sound hole - don't do that because you'll hear nothing but finger noise. Point it at the 12th fret.)
When you want easy-to-play, it really doesn't get any easier than the 3/4 size classical. Right size, obviously light in weight, really easy on the fingers, easy-grip neck, it's all there.