The RAM issue, based off of what I've read, is happening because I didn't take the time to properly clean up the project and do an optimized build. Unfortunately, it was about two hours out and I was still importing assets and scripting so I didn't really have the time for an optimized build. (Lessons learned)
In regards to the progression problem, the resolution *may* be cutting off the repair option which is displayed at the bottom of the screen. Otherwise, the only thing that will prevent repairs and/or purchasing new equipment is not having the "Cash" to do so. My suggested strategy would be to spam the "Megger" in the beginning and perform low-end experiments to earn quick cash and buy "Hampsters". They'll keep you afloat until you start doing bigger experiments.