The most basic rule of getting rich: "Spend less every month than you earn". It's true in all existing worlds. In Azeroth, on the top of all, easy. You don't have bills to pay. You don't have to buy food or shelter. You can stay in an inn forever for free and need food only for buffs. You don't have any unavoidable expenses in Azeroth!
Everyone has income, no matter how little. If you have auctioneer and aware of opportunity cost, you have more than little. If you have accounting, you'll have lot more.
So there is income. There are no expenses. Why don't everyone have full purses?
Mostly because they spend like crazy. Before every spending, you should ask the question: "do I really need it?"
Check out these items: Titanium Spellshock ring with Perfect reckless huge citrine and a Signet of Kirin Tor:
-6 critical strike rating
21 haste rating
-3 spell power
Use: Teleports the caster to Dalaran. (1 Hour Cooldown)
This is the advantage of the Signet over the Spellshock. On my server the mats+gem+tip for the Spellshock are around 2000G. The Signet on revered reputation (this can be reached without farming, just by questing up and doing the cooking daily) is 6500G. Does +21 haste rating and a free hearthstone worth 4500G?
OK, you may say the Signet is a pointless luxury item, so let's make a much more real comparison:
Runed Scarlet Ruby: 19 spell power, 200G
Perfect Runed Bloodstone: 16 spell power, 40G
Runed Bloodstone: 14 spell power, 10G
Do you really need that +3 spell power for 160G? Does that spell power will make or break Naxxramas? Come on! Ensidia cleared not Naxxramas, but HC Malygos in lousy lvl 70 stuff. Their gear was much weaker than any casual's now. If you cannot clear Naxx, not +3 spell power but either learning to play or finding proper groupmembers is in order.
Wrath Elixir vs Fel Strength Elixir. The difference is -10 stamina and -5G.
Elixir of Spirit vs Elixir of Draenic Wisdom. The latter have -20 spirit, +30 intellect and -7G.
Firecracker Salmon vs Smoked Salmon. The latter have -11 spell power and -9G.
The items are tools to reach a goal. They only need improvement if the goal cannot be reached without them. Of course I'm not telling to walk around in unenchanted, ungemmed greens. But if the stat increase is marginal, you don't need it.
If you have a crafting profession, you can spend thousands to reach slvl 450. Why??? Does it give you anything? The tradeskill specialty (like ring enchant, bracer embroidery and such), can be reached on slvl 410-420. Why do you push it higher? If you really need a crafted epic, you can find another crafter for a 50G tip instead of for a 1000G levelup!
Graving for "better" items can come up with ridicoluous results. I've met an unforgettable mage back in ZA, who had epic gems in all slots but went out of mana at 30% of the boss and used wand. After the fight I asked him why had not use mana potion? "Because I can't afford it". Or the other one, I kicked from an instance group couple days ago after seeing no enchants and meta gem in his epics and also several greens. He arrived on a Red Drake!
Three kind of people want "perfect" items:
- Absolute competitive HC raiders and PvP-ers. I can imagine that you do need that extra 3 spell power to down Satharion with 3 dragons. If you are in such guild, go for it! But if you are not even applying to such guild, you don't need it, even if you raid 6 times a week. Doing lot of easy content does not make you HC, just addict.
- People with obsessive compulsive personality disorder find internal happiness in reaching "better" items, even if they can't gain anything from it. If you don't feel good if your item is just blue, even if the stats are not bad and you can raid the content you want, you should consider seeking expert help. I mean it. If you have a guild leader who demands not better performance, but better items, /gquit today. An obsessive-compulsive boss can make your day terrible.
- People who like to look good (as opposed to be good). I'm absolutely positive that watching that boss video increases your damage done on him more than farming for a better gem. /ignore those stupid kids who linger around in Dalaran on their useless Mammoth and epic gems. The only thing they can kill is the poor squirrel at the well (and they usually do). If they would be not just a well-dressed piece of rock, they would be in a raid and not standing in the middle of Dalaran.