Unless you are working with others on learning php/sql there is no need to buy a hosting account.
Just set up a localhost. (Xampp, wamp, lamp(linux))
I prefer WAMP(link in my signature)
What this allows you to do is host
a website on your computer that is only accessible by your computer.
The powerful thing about WAMP is that it allows both PHP and MySQL meaning... not only can you install wordpress to play with. You can also modify it freely and learn html/css/php/mysql at the same time.
Wamp is rooted in Apache, which in my opinion is the best server software to go with(I am not a big IIS fan). You can do things like mod rewrites and adjust permissions without being afraid of a potential malware attack or something similar.
If you still want domain and hosting I suggest you look around to see what fits you best.
Godaddy offers a great basic starter package for ~$50 or so a year. Only fall back is godaddys admin interface is awful.
Bluehost is another great alternative with access to cpanel and many other apps.
My current favorite budget hosting company is: Web Hosting Services, Reseller Hosting, VPS Hosting, and Dedicated Servers by HostGator
I have found that they have a great starter package with powerful developer tools. (WHM,Cpanel,PHPmyAdmin,etc)
They also have good speed and constant up time.
Let me know if you have any questions on either.