I'm definitely not saying woe is me. I made these choices, and I feel ok about them. I'm not ignoring my debts. I'm paying them, and I'm considering doubling my payments to them. They aren't revolving, I've stopped digging. I'm saying, the choice I am making now is to contribute this much for this long and re-evaluate when things change. (Kids and marriages seem to have at least a 9 month gestation period, and I don't want to count on a raise.) The question is with this much, where should I contribute it? Savings, retirement, or debt?
I'll try not to reiterate myself too much. I'm not saying you made a bad choice or all debt is bad and must be paid at all cost either. Just that you should feel like this high (to me) interest is sucking you dry that it's easier to attack them now rather than when you've come accustomed to a higher income.
Paying an extra 350 on the school debt is only technically paying double since they are going up to about 750 next year anyway. I'm throwing down the gauntlet and saying you can do better than that (not having seen details of course).
But if you just want your question answered and don't want anyone attacking your decisions. This is what I would do regardless of amount saved:
0) If there was a match on the 401k then I would take it up to the match. Otherwise pass.
1) Save enough where to feel confident that in the event of a lost job there is enough to get by until a new job can be found. (If you can live on 2k a month like you say then I might go with the nice round number of 10k)
2) Pay down the debt on anything with an interest rate over the rate of a 30 year mortgage (currently 3.6%).
3) Open a Roth IRA from Vanguard and split the savings between retirement and saving for a down payment on a house (assuming you want one).
Yes, sure, I could do all kinds of additional things. I'm sure everyone could go farther. You have probably decided not to become a "freegan" or not to clip coupons or not to walk to work. I have decided to only cut expenses by $350 a month. Maybe in 6 months I'll decide I have $500 or $1000 a month. But today, $350.
Sure, I'm not questioning your ability to make decisions or saying I'm the perfect example of frugality. I'm just kindly pointing out that THERE IS A GIGANTIC BLOOD SUCKING LEACH ON YOUR NECK and you might want to do something about sooner rather than later.