WoW: Classic is scheduled for August 27 (technically August 26 if you're in the Americas). The soonest that you can play it is starting in May, during Blizzard's scheduled stress tests. To opt-in you must have an active subscription on your Battle.net account. If you do, go to Account Management and select the Wow Classic beta. Keep in mind, there will be level caps during the test. The schedule is as follows:
As you level, you will buy new ranks of spells. If you splurge out on an item upgrade, you will not have enough gold readily available to upgrade to the latest ranks of spells: placing you behind. Moreover, you can buy gear upgrades from the Auction House (AH) or vendors. Furthermore, you may have large investments that need to be paid for professors. You will need to purchase reagents and items such as leather, bolts of cloth, alchemy supplies – unless you have a charitable friend or another high-level alt.