I have about $1K in savings, and have been told that you should get into investment and saving for retirement early. I make around $200 per week, which about $150 goes into savings.
That's $10k per year. The general rule of thumb is that you should have six months income as an emergency fund. So your savings should be around $5k. Build that first.
Some argue that the standard should be six months of living expenses rather than income. Personally, I think that this example is exactly why it is income rather than living expenses. Six months of living expenses in this case would only be $1250, which won't pay for much. And note that living expenses can only be calculated after the fact. If your estimate of $50 a week is overly optimistic, you might not notice for months (until some large living expense pops up).
Another problem with using living expenses as the measure is that if you hold down your living expenses to maximize your savings, this helps both measures. Then you hit your savings target, and your living expenses increase. So you need more savings. By contrast, if your income increases but your living expenses do not, you still need more savings but you can also save more money. Doesn't really change the basic analysis though. Either way you have an emergency savings target that you should hit before starting your retirement savings.
If you save $150 per week, then you should have around $4k in savings at the beginning of next year. That's still low for an emergency fund by the income standard. So you probably shouldn't invest next year. With a living expenses standard, you could have $6250 in savings by April 15th (deadline for an IRA contribution that appears in the previous tax year). That's $5000 more than the $1250 emergency fund, so you could afford an IRA (probably a Roth) that year.
If you save $7500 next year and start with $4k in savings (under the income standard for emergency savings), that would leave you with $11,500. Take $5500 of that and invest in an IRA, probably a Roth. After that, you could make a $100 deposit per week for the next year. Or just wait until the end.
If you invested in an IRA the previous year because you decided use the living expenses standard, you would only have $6500 at the end of the year. If you wait until you have $6750, you could max out your IRA contribution. At that point, your excess income for each year would be larger than the maximum IRA contribution, so you could max it out until your circumstances change.
If you don't actually save $3k this year and $7500 next year, don't sweat it. A college education is enough of an investment at your age. Do that first, then emergency savings, then retirement.
That will flip around once you get a better paying, long term job. Then you should include retirement savings as an expected cost. So you'd pay the minimum required for your education loans and other required living expenses, then dedicate an amount for retirement savings, then build your emergency savings, then pay off your education loans (above the minimum payment). This is where it can pay to use the more aggressive living expenses standard, as that allows you to pay off your education loans faster.
I would invest retirement savings in a nice, diversified index fund (or two since maintaining the correct stock/bond mix of 70%-75% stocks is less risky than investing in just bonds much less just stocks). Investing in individual stocks is something you should do with excess money that you can afford to lose. Secure your retirement first. Then stock investments are gravy if they pan out. If they don't, you're still all right. But if they do, you can make bigger decisions, e.g. buying a house.
Realize that buying individual stocks is about more than just buying an app. You have to both check the fundamentals (which the app can help you do) and find other reasons to buy a stock. If you rely on an app, then you're essentially joining everyone else using that app. You'll make the same profit as everyone else, which won't be much because you all share the profit opportunities with the app's system. If you want to use someone else's system, stick with mutual funds. The app system is actually more dangerous in the long term.
Early in the app's life cycle, its system can produce positive returns because a small number of people are sharing the benefits of that system. As more people adopt it though, the total possible returns stay the same. At some point, users saturate the app. All the possible returns are realized. Then users are competing with each other for returns. The per user returns will shrink as usage grows.
If you have your own system, then you are competing with fewer people for the returns from it. Share the fundamental analysis, but pick your stocks based on other criteria. Fundamental analysis will tell you if a stock is overvalued. The other criteria will tell you which undervalued stock to buy.