I admit that I love to buy stuff. Especially food - if I had a larger apartment, it would be chock full. As it is we can regularly not fit things easily in our freezer. It is like I am preparing for the worst (evidently except for a power failure in which case all that stuff would spoil.)
Lately though I have noticed that I get excited when I have extra money - like the seventy dollars I recently recovered - because I know I can send it to my savings account. My ING account is linked to Paypal, so I frequently send whatever small amounts I get for doing online surveys to savings. All my PayPerPost earnings are going to go straight into savings since they are coming to my PayPal account. I think I actually get more excited about being able to put this money into my account than I would be if someone handed me $70 in real money, because I'd just deposit it and then transfer it. If you gave me a gift certificate, unless it was to some place that I would spend money anyway (like Target or the grocery store) I would probably try to come up with a way to convert it into money.
And just not spending is not the same as getting extra money which can be saved - in some way, if I'm going to save $20 on my groceries, I'd almost rather that the clerk charged the extra $20 to my checking account and gave me the $20 so I could put it in savings. Even though it would be the same mathematically.
I'm usually very conservative about having enough on hand - see the freezer example. In middle school, I frequently failed to win a computer game we played in which you had to run a hot dog stand because I spent too much of my hot dog stand's money on supplies, just in case I ran out. So it doesn't make much logical sense that up until now I haven't been very diligent about having an emergency fund. I guess I just had faith that I would be able to go out and make some more money if I needed to - I'm a hard worker and am always looking for opportunities. I think I've gotten the savings bug now, and hopefully my savings account will soon start to look like my freezer!