One of the things that I have never been comfortable with is how small baby step one is

One thousand dollars has not been adjusted for inflation at all since DR set up the program. In my area, that would have me on the street within a month if I lost my job. So, I’ve settled for the idea of having one month’s worth of back up funds. That would vary depending upon where you lived, but it seems more realistic in times when jobs are more easily lost.
Yes, I’d have more of my debt paid off it I put some of that money towards it, but my anxiety levels would be so high, it’s not worth it to me. I’d rather know that I could keep a roof over my family’s heads if something bad were to happen.