You only need Riot Points to buy skins, you can unlock champions by buying them, and you can buy boosts in IP per day, but Riot's policy is that you can't "buy power," which means you can't directly buy levels and you can't buy Runes.
I just played a my first practice match and I only got 30 IP. Is this normal? If the point yield is always this low then it is going to take forever before I can purchase my own champion. Also any advice for a beginner? My friends and I just got into this game pretty fun but, we drastically need some advice. Thanks
practice last hitting minions. it's easier with ranged characters but also possible with melee this is how you will get money faster
also make a habit of looking at your mini map and chat log in normal/team games where you are up against real people, knowing where your enemies are let you know whats happening and if there is going to be a gank (planned kill).
team mates will often say MIA (missing in action) meaning one of the opponents disappeared and may be setting up for a gank.
i'm sure this is obvious, but don't die. not only are you out from action, but the enemy gets gold for their kill and will get their items better.
one last thing is to get used to what items and what order you are planning on getting. you do not want to spend 1/2 a minute thinking about what item you are going to get next when you can be leveling/ganking/jungling. there are guides on the official website forums and on leaguecraft.com what item builds are out there for each character. Normally an item build would generally focus on either Ability points, attack damage, attack speed, health, defense, or magic penetration. Oh, and some kind of boots is recommended as you will be running everywhere on the map.
I just started playing recently but these are things that new players such as ourselves should work on.