I couldn't agree more. I think the concept of a safety net/emergency fund/rainy day fund is not terribly hard to comprehend. But understanding how to incorporate behaviors that would support the development and maintenance of such a fund is much more complicated. In my experience, helping youth and adults see the value in adding a little bit at a time in a consistant manner (taking a portion of every paycheck) can be very powerful. This works especially well if the deposit into the emergency fund is automatized and the saver does not need to do anything to make it happen every month (or every paycheck).