Why are you waiting until spring? Ohio has events coming up:
You'll find all the advice you need posted here already - go through the "Novice guide to autocross" post, and alot of other posts here.
Learn the basics of running an autocross (walking the course, finding the line, etc.) before you throw money at the car.
The stock SVT suspension, engine, and brakes are plenty capable as they come from the factory.
If you absolutely *have* to spend some money, go to the "Focus Power" forum here and get the information on getting Tom's Tune, it is a reflash of the ECU that will vastly improve your enjoyment of the car every day.
Next $$$ you spend should go to seat time - autocrosses and even better, AX schools -
Check out the club links above, sometimes the clubs will host thier own "Novice" schools.
Evo school was the *best* money I've ever spent, and recently our club held a prep school for the state championships where I got an Evo school's worth of experience for $30.
You have *got* to get a baseline of knowledge so you understand what ideal you are working towards, and what any future mods are going to do for you.