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.
":" - Any time a step ends in a ":" instead of a "." means that the next step is part of the current step you are on. This generally means the next step should be done while working on the current step. This means every "start working on" or "continue working on" will end in a ":". But this is used with other occasions as well, so keep this in mind.