[I] have $1k in savings, $1.25k in indivudal stocks that earned about 6% in the past year, and $500 in cryptocurrency (mostly BTC, ETH) that have earned 0% all time. I have about $28k of student loans at 6-8% (different providers). I don’t own any assets really and have a leftover income of about $1.2k per month after rent, electric, other personal expenses (food, clothing, going out, etc.) to devote to financial and personal investment.
Currently my income is split as follows:
spending (eating, eating out, clothing, leisure, other life expenses): 42%
rent, gas, electric, internet: 20%
student loan debt: 12%
personal development: 5%
recurring subscriptions: 3%
So the thing is that you are spending a lot on "spending" with a ~30k debt.
6-8% interest is an after-tax cost (I assume), so it will be hard to get a reliable investment to beat that. I'd be tempted to clear that debt as a first step.
38% of your income is 1.2k, so your income is about 3.2k. Rent/gas/electric/internet is then 600$/month, and spending is about 1.3k/month.
Halve spending. Halve savings. Keep up personal development (I'm assuming this is useful to earn more income in the future). Keep up investments (honestly, you are doing that to learn about investing). Keep up subscriptions.
this comes to 60%, freeing up 40% or 1.3k to put into debt retirement.
28k of loans at an average of 7% comes to 163$/month in interest; so you can put 1.1k into debt reduction per month. At that rate in about 2 years, give or take, you'll be debt-free.
Next, inflate savings until you have 3-6 months of after-tax income saved up (so 10-20k). This will give you the ability to do things like handle a recession, the urgent need to buy a car, or uproot your life for an opportunity, or serve as a downpayment for a house.
At 45% 1 year will get you there; 20k in a bank account, no debts, some investments.
After that, do a bump on your standard of living; from 21% to 26%. Whenever your savings fall below 5 months of income, you have to repay that out of your standard of living.
The other 40% now aims at investments.
Your investments should be mostly index funds with some geographical diversity; in the event of a local recession or economic problems, your ability to earn income could collapse at the same time your investments do. On the other hand, if you intend to retire locally, local investments may be better.
Regardless, at 45% of your income (1.4k) over 2 years you'll have almost 40k in investments and 20k in savings; this is 5 years from today. Add another 5 years and you'll be approaching 150k.
In this time you can hope to (a) increase your income, (b) maybe partner up with someone with a similar trajectory.
150k at 5% is is only 7.5k per year. A 2% wage increase above inflation per year over 10 years is worth just as much. Your biggest asset remains your ability to earn income, even after 10 years of savings.
If you you manage that and you steadfastly put your wage increases into investments (except the 5 month savings), you'll be closer to 200k invested at the decade mark.
Reaching the ability to maintain your current standard of living without working, at 4% withdrawn per year, requires a million dollars. And the problem is that while your spending money will stay flat, odds are you will start picking up health problems over the next few decades, and your medical costs will go up.
Reaching the standard of living of spending 60% of your current income requires 600k. Hitting that with investments earning 5% will require saving 40% of your income for 2+ decades.
On the plus side, you will die; the above assumes we our nest egg has to last indefinitely.
On the other hand, if you double your income without changing your standard of living from 60% of your current income, your ability to invest goes up 2.5x and instead of taking 2 decades to save up enough to coast on, it will take a half a decade.
The key to your problem is, like most people, (a) finding a higher paying job, (b) not increasing your spending to match your increased income, and (c) waiting in proportion to your ability to do both of the previous.