First, for the hardware, I'd recommend investing in a tablet with a built-in screen. Sure, it's more expensive, especially for a first tablet, but nothing beats the ability to see what you draw directly, without needing to spend weeks (if not months) trying to build a decent eye-hand de-coordination. As someone who started out digital art with an Intuos 4M (so I had to learn moving my hand while watching my laptop's screen), I can tell such a setup brings a lot of frustration and can be a real creativity killer.
Wacom products are expensive, but fortunately there are good models with built-in screens by Huion at a much reasonable price, like the Kamvas tablets which are available in different sizes. I just ordered a Kamvas Pro 20 2019 for $400 in replacement of my Cintiq 13HD, because there are currently big discounts on Amazon and other online shops (before the usual re-raise of prices for Black Friday )
And if such an investment still seems like a lot - especially if, lets's say, you find out digital art is not your thing after a while, you can always resell the tablet later. If you didn't use it much and took good care of it, you can hope to get up to 70% of its price back. I know for example that Wacom models are sturdy enough to last a good while: my current Cintiq doesn't have a single scratch on it despite years of use without a screen protector (but I wouldn't recommend this model or any other that has a 3-in-1 cable, because once those are defective, the whole tablet can go to the trash bin if the cables stop being manufactured).
As for the software, I'm personally biased towards Paint Tool SAI: it's $50, but very lightweight, and easy to use for beginners. Plus it has an excellent stabilizer, hence why it's more suited for people for whom a neat linework is important. The lines in SAI are naturally smooth and very reactive to pressure, with the possibility to choose the exact edge hardness and tapering amount you want, as well as lineart-specific layers (never tried those, though). Sure, it doesn't have all the mind-blowing options from Photoshop, but the most recent version includes the possibility to use or even create custom brushes, which makes it a very decent software for painting too.