This is question has been somewhat asked elsewhere:
However, I wanted to re-formulate the question for a different demographic. I am currently a graduate student in a US university with a $22,000 a year stipend (August - May, summer months can pick up additional work at university or elsewhere). My monthly rent (all in) is $675 and my living expenses are about $150. After some startup expenses (furniture, moving, etc.) I am at a stable earning-saving pace.
My question is: What financial instruments should I prioritize to maximize the minimal savings I can accumulate over the next 4-5 years?
I have minimial student debt (less than $5000) and a Vanguard Roth IRA with $3500. My savings account, having just stabilized, is about $1000. I have no emergency fund.
I am able to save between $600-$800 a month so far. Should I be pouring all of that into the Roth? Or splitting it 50/25/25 (Roth, savings, emergency fund)?
Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Can post additional info if needed.
Updates from comments:
What are your goals?
To build up a savings strategy that makes sense for me. I am not inclined towards markets/finance, and often find myself accusing decent sums (1k-5k) yet doing little with it. Ideally I would like to exit this program debt free with some savings built up.
Do you have family or other resources to fall back on?
Yes, I am fortunate enough to have decent enough family resources should anything terrible happen.
How is the job market for your field of study?
Strong. I am in a quantitative social sciences field with background in statistical programming, database management, and project leadership.
What is the interest rate on your student debt?