Unfortunately I cannot help you there - at work we use our own data centers and 95% of my personal projects are just for me so just run on my desktop.
What I will say is that there is nothing wrong with using a cloud providers from the beginning - what I would stay away from is all of their special tools and apis that they offer. Most providers have ways to easily run popular platforms (NodeJS, .NET, Java, Python, Ruby, etc) in such a way that none of your code cares that its running in their cloud.
As an example, I've recently been working on a personal project that's for 5 people rather than just me so I needed some way to host it. After about 20-30 minutes of comparisons I went with Heroku because the project involves a NodeJS app that uses a Postgres and they offered seamless hosting of those tools. While working on the app and with the DB locally 0% of my code referred to Heroku. The only special stuff was deploy scripts and different environment variables.
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