I'm short on cash and just changing the front would be very helpful.
My car has an automatic transmission.
When it comes to servicing brakes on a vehicle, the golden rule is to ensure they are completed per axle; meaning you can’t replace the brake pads on just the left or right side; it has to be done on both sides on the front or rear axle.
On a 2000 Ford Explorer, the brake system is front disk and rear drum brakes. As long as you have both front disk brake pads replaced and rotors turned or replaced as well, it should be fine to complete the rear brakes shortly after. Although it is recommended by Ford to replace all four wheel brakes at the same time for safety, your idea should be OK.
If you decide to get them replaced, consider enlisting a certified mobile mechanic who can service your brake pads and rotors at your own convenience. Good luck!