Hello, and welcome!
So, to start off with, you won’t just get 18 rings - 18 rings is what every citizen gets for just turning up. Your farm will give you a further 9 crowns (you can see the personal resource production values here), which is a further 180 rings (20 rings to a crown).
There’s a whole host of different things available to buy in Anvil! There are people selling alcohol, sweets and cakes, books, hand-crafted items and more. Most of the nations have PC-run teashops and bars. There’s a library where you can buy books, there’s a range of IC services, even a massage guild. You can also use it to buy various in-game resources that you can then use to make things (or have things made), or try to sell on at a higher price. Most of the prices of things are negotiable, but to give you an idea, a pint at the moment will probably cost you around 5 rings.
Almost any way that you can think of making more money, you essentially can do. Want to make cakes and sell them to other players for IC cash? Do that! Want to publish a book of bawdy poetry and see what you get for it? Why not! Or you can try buying resources cheap and selling them high. The trade game is quite wide and varied!