So I was planning to write a post about why I won't recommend WoT to my friends, and one of the reasons is that this game is more than just not "F2P" but also absurdly expensive. Since many people have bought the loot boxes, which is THE cheapest way to get gold, I'm gonna go with my point of view, about how to spend that gold you get.
Rule No.1 Save for what you truly need
A trap of those in-game currencies is when you spend those gold or points or whatever they call for them, you probably won't feel like you're spending your dollars. Loot boxes save you a lot, but that doesn't mean they're cheap. Assume people get 1.5 premium tanks & 35k gold from 75 boxes on average, just take them as 50k gold, it's $2 for 1k gold. Still, it's $25 for a Lowe and $14 for LT432.
It's just maybe that there will be a 1-year premium on discount on the advert calendar. I believe you all understand how much premium time means, buy it or not, it's up to you.
Tier-8 Premium Tanks
Everyone would need at least 2, better 3 tier-8 premium tanks. If you want to grind Frontline, they also have to fit into this toxic game mode. Some tech-tree tanks are fine for this, like Panterra 44, Lynx 6×6, T-44, but they are not as good as their premium comparison since WoT is now basically "P2W". For frontline, my suggestions are Progetto 46, LT432 and EBR. If you don't want to spend too much, Progetto will be your best choice. Good for both random battles & frontline and no need to press 2 under most circumstances. BTW, same crew-member loadout as the entire Italian MT line.
I don't recommend Lowe. Lowe is slow and has terrible DPM and average hull armor. It's not easy to use, new players may not able to handle it, experienced players are likely to be bored with it. And it's basically a piece of "Free Rank for Everyone" on Frontline.
I put this here because perhaps you may be able to purchase 0-skill crews through advert calendar with a free tank as a bonus. This is why 0-skill perk is important: The cost doubles after each skill every time. The 5th skill requires the experience that equals 26 crew books, the 6th equals 53. So for every crew that needs 6 or even 7 skills, it's better to put a one with 1 or 2 0-skill perks.
Take Cromwell B for example, 3750 gold for 5 crews, that's $1.5 for each.
Skipping stock grinds will improve your gaming experience dramatically, a lot of stock grinds are shall I say just awful. Skipping all the stock grinds of one line would roughly cost you 400k FXP. Well, some are not worth it because the fully upgraded version is still garbage. A good thing is that WG has given all of us 60 national blueprints for each nation. (I think it's still pretty easy to reach tier-X atmosphere level even if you don't spend a penny on those loot boxes.)
This is a
400k FXP roughly equals to $20 if you have waited for 1:40. Personally, I would mostly stay at tier 8 for a while, cause I'm not a very good player and WG's most greedy stock grinds are at tier 9, each would burn about 170k FXP.
This is worth mentioning: Another use of national blueprints is to save FXP. 50TP is not a bad tank but if you use the blueprints to skip it, you would only need to spend 26k.
A previous official video indicated that there would possibly be another black-market sale next year. For the reference, this year, there was a Type 59 G for 25k gold(which I won't buy cause it's still $50), 3D styles from loot boxes for 3.5k each, seal clubber Pz.V/IV for 5.5k.
WG's events are most likely not gonna give you everything for free, like boosters in Frontline, oil in the PvE mode, pieces in the Great Race. Save some for those will definitely benefit.
Next year advent calendar & sales
Before next year's loot boxes, you may encounter several sales, like Somua for 9k gold, or early tanks on the advent calendar this year.
Never runs out of your gold
$3 for 500. I have 55k gold, but after these calculations above, it really doesn't seem much. But no, I won't buy another set of loot boxes. It's not worth it to me, I would rather buy marathon tanks or even save up for a console to play Battlefield.