How much savings will make you sleep better?

That is the question I am trying to answer. I am still saving for my emergency fund and have been back and forth in my mind on a target number. I have now decided:

I need 1 year's worth of bare bones bills saved up to not worry about job loss or some other life event.

That changes my new target to roughly $20,000.00. That seems like a lot but to live an entire year, 365 days without income, is a nice safety net. That is also the amount I would need in order to attempt starting my own business or going to consulting/contracting full time. This target represents that goal.

My main goal in life is to be financially independent enough to not have to work 40 hours per week. That leads to other goals like travel and part time contracting to fill the gaps. The more I have in savings the less I actually need to work in order to live. I don't want to quit working completely at this point just not have it be the focus of my entire life.

Having time to do what I really want is the most important. I don't need a Mercedes, 18-bedroom house, or 67 plasma TV's. Just time to do what I like (mostly travel at this point). Without having to work 40-60 hours per week I can enjoy myself more. That is the real aim here.

I know that if I had a savings account that could cover my bills for the next 365 days I won't be as worried about losing my job due to some unforeseen event. I can focus on other things and move forward. My patience is thin but I am getting there. Hopefully another year or so and I will be in a much better position.