I've seen a lot of guild chat from folks that haven't got enough gold to get by and for anyone with a level 85 that to me is hard to believe.
As someone that isn't short of gold I thought I'd pass on my tips to always ensure you have enough gold to keep you moving along and hopefully to get you to the point that you can lavish your main and alts with all the goodies you dream of.
The best bit of advice I'll give is don't waste gold until you can afford to. At first this will be hard if that is all you have done before. When levelling stick with what you get from quests and boss drops. So if you are prone to dip to the AH to go buy yourself the best levelling gear possible don't do it.
This is the best way you make money. Gathering is the obvious one and if you're levelling from 1 (or 55 for your DK) I would always recommend taking 2 gathering professions. Skinning is always a great option and should be paired with mining or herbalism. Once you're at max level switch at least one of those professions out for a crafting profession. The one to drop is always the one least useful for your class so tanks should always keep mining because of the stamina buff it gives. Skinning gives crit chance and herbalism a haste buff (plus a pretty worthless heal).
Every crafting profession has a way of making gold. Some are easy and obvious, jewelcrafting, enchanting and inscription but be warned these take a lot of effort and are highly competive markets to break into.
Blacksmithing, tailoring and leatherworking are all good too mainly from armour but there are also spin offs to look out for blacksmiths have weapons, tailors and leatherworkers have bags and leg patches.
Leatherworkers also are able to convert leathers into higher grade leathers. In Cataclysm that means you can buy Savage Leather and make Heavy Savage rarely have I seen Heavy Savage cheaper than the 5 Savage Leather it takes to make it. On Shadowsong EU, Savage Leather is 3g each and Heavy is 19g each. Which means you can make Heavy Savage Leather yourself for a profit of 4g. Not much I agree but if you buy in bulk that 4g becomes 40g or 400g and eventually 4000g. That is much better in your pocket than in someone elses. Same goes for buying Pristine Hides. Never buy them off the AH, always convert Savage Leather to Heavy Leather and then trade the Heavy Leather in at the vendor.
Some professions have cooldowns use them:
- Tailors make your Dreamcloth;
- Alchemists do your transmutes of Living Elements or Truegold;
- Scribes do your Inscription Research if you don't know all the recipes;
Doing your WoW daily business, you will collect all kinds of useful stuff. If you can't use them yourself sell them on the auction house. Never vendor them (unless they are grays or useless soulbound items) if you can sell them on the AH for more than they vendor for. The Auction House is a whole topic on its own and is too deep for now. However I will recommend that you download the add on Auctionator. it is a simple to use addon that modifies how you buy and sell stuff on teh AH at the best prices. A review can be found on WoWInsider so I won't waste more time here. A screen shot is below:
As you're currently struggling for gold you will need to go out and earn some gold the "hard" way. Questing may not be the most fun but it does bring in gold in rewards and mob drops, drops to sell on the AH and quest rewards to sell, disenchant or use and reputation. Start with daily quests for your professions (including cooking and fishing), then the rep grind ones (Molten Front/Tol Barad/Deepholme currently). After this move on to high level questing zones.
If you're out of quests or fancy a change of pace, go farm. This can be the stereotypical farming for ore, herbs or grinding mobs for specific drops. Alternatively just go do an old instance for coin or for low level mats or for transmog pieces. With AoE looting this will speed up this farm incredibly. The last farming option is my favorite, fishing. If you fish in pools you can guarantee your drop and you don't need a fishing skill higher than 1 meaning everyone can do it.
Sounds stupid I know but this makes sense because it will make you efficient. If you can achieve 2 or more goals at aonce do it. A good example is one I encountered recently. Someone with no gold, needing Volatile Fire, Volatile Water and cloth. I advised him to go do the Moten Front dailies as the mobs there drop loads of Volatile Fire and to use potion of Treasure Finding as this would enable him to get cloth drops from the Tiny Treasure Chests as well as gold coin and more volatiles. Also as Volatile Fire sells for about 5g, Volatile Water for about 6g that rather than try to farm the Volatile Water just to stay in the Molten Front a bit longer and sell some Volatile Fire and buy the Volatile Water with the gold.