Likewise I haven't much money and if you have a look at the two threads in my sig you will see what I am working with.
'Me Wee Beasty' is a tractor that I scratch built to learn about the process of using electric motors to drive stuff. I knew about as much as you when I joined the forum and had high ambitions. The ambitions are still there but tempered with a lot of learning and a little then a pinch of realism.
My Trike is the road going version I started because I found that I couldn't afford to convert a Toyota MR2. Well, I could afford to convert it but I couldn't afford the batteries to run it for my needs.
The trike is a cut down, light weight commuter that uses what I can get cheaply. I have an 11" motor for it because it will definately do the job, and some. I do have a 9" motor but as it was given to me to experiment with I may well pass it on to another more needy local to use.
My budget is zero. I scrounge, beg borrow and trade to get parts. As a part time trainee teacher my income is minimal but my hours long and trying. I still managed to scratch build a tractor pretty much from scrap metal yard finds and the Trike will be done the same way, slowly and cheaply.
Just about everything I have bought can be resold either as is or as scrap metal.
Now we know where you are based, someone else may be able to give you a pointer to a fork truck parts place. Keep an eye on Ebay too, fork lift motors, DC motors, EV motors, non runners, kit car projects, unfinished projects, etc and you may come across something that is useful.
The idea is to keep reading and keep looking. It often doesn't matter if you get a car or a motor first, or some other component. But do read, a lot!
BTW, I'm not awsome, the likes of major, jackbauer, Tesseract, Qer, Jimdear2, Toddshotrods, CroDriver, gottdi, just to name a few are awsome. I'm just stuck indoors today with a bug that I am hoping isn't more then just a cold.