Nonmetallic (NM) cable is easy to work with and inexpensive, so it's not surprising that it is the most common type of cable used in household wiring.
NM cable is sold in lengths of 25, 50, or 100 feet, or more. When in doubt buy the larger package -- it doesn't cost much more and it may come in handy later.
NM's plastic sheathing does not protect the wires much, so keep it out of harm's way. If the cable might get wet, install UF (underground feed) cable, which encases wires in molded plastic. Wherever cable is exposed -- in a garage or basement -- many local codes call for armored cable or conduit.
Codes call for running NM through the center of studs so drywall nails cannot damage it. If the cable is 1-1/4 inches or less from the edge of a framing member, install a protective nailing plate. Some codes require metal plates even if the cable is in the center of a stud.
Take care not to damage wire insulation when working with NM cable. Slit the sheathing down the middle using a sharp utility knife. To avoid slicing the wire insulation, don't cut too deep. Or use a sheathing stripper.
When cutting cable to length, leave yourself an extra foot or two. If you make a mistake while stripping, you can recut the cable and try again.
NM cable that holds three wires (plus the ground) is round rather than flat. If you cut through the sheathing too deeply, you hit insulated wire rather than the ground wire. Practice cutting through the sheathing. Always examine the wires for damage after removing the sheathing.