This is a very long topic to cover fully so I will just push you to the right direction to get things rolling and save you from lot of trouble.
You should never sync your local db to production db after you have first installed the site to production environment. The sync process of db is always one way: production -> staging -> local environment. Also when syncing the db from production you should always sanitize the sensitive data (user emails and passwords) for example with Drush sql-sync --sanitize option (yes you can have Drush for Windows too). To able to use this kind of workflow you need to have the configuration of modules, views etc. in code not in db. In Drupal 7 you can use modules like features to achieve this. In Drupal 8 most of this will be covered with cores built-in configuration management. Of course on top of everything you need to use version control system to not go nuts when developing the site. Services like Bitbucket, GitHub and GitLab give you the needed tools and ge you going with VCS in no time. With version control you can compare different versions of code, fall back easily to previous versions in your code and easily take more collaborators in the mix in the future. Doing any size of development without version control system is just plain stupid.
If you can't afford to have a staging environment on a VPS you should use your local environment wisely. Having your local environment as close as possible to the production environment is a wise thing to do in any circumstance. Use a virtualization product like Virtualbox and install the exact same setup on your local computer than you have on your production. When managing several production environments tools like Vagrant, Chef and Puppet can help you to keep configurations in sync and make your life easier :)
Things you should also remember is to have regular automated backups of your production data, know how to fall back to previous versions of code, configuration and db if something fails and to treat production environment always as a production environment. Remembering all of this makes your life a lot easier :)