Problems Setting up Membership Pages and Payment

I just need to be able to have my new members choose from a free option or a paid option, with only the paid option being available from October 1st, 2014.

I've gone through the videos and tutorials, and gotten locked out once already for two days. I know it cannot be this hard, so I am asking for help.

All that I require is for people to pay $18 when they register, via PayPal. And then to hide the content in Groups, so non-members can see Groups but not the content.

Please help.

Thanks,

Andrea