The quality of materials (brushes, paints, etc.) is important
This is a two-sided sword. While quality is definitely important after you’ve reached the point where even smaller nuances in quality count, while you are a beginner it’s basically all the same.
There are tons of art stores selling premiere quality drawing, painting, writing sets for a fortune. This means a massive investment on behalf of anyone who wants to try their hands in arts and in the same time, should they not have the sufficient amount of money to pay for all this, it also means a huge discouragement for many.
Therefore while quality is definitely important, do not rely and spend all too much money on your equipment, unless you really need to. Ask your teacher’s opinion and watch out if someone’s too keen on wanting you to buy expensive stuff, it may easily mean they get a commission from specific art stores. One average pencil, paper and an eraser are perfect for you to get started.