For several years now I have wanted to leave my current job in science and technology in order to focus on the arts. My background and college degrees are in the arts and that's where my passion is. About 20 months ago my spouse got hired for a new full-time job (she had been a student) and we decided this was our best opportunity.
Our plan was based on the fact that we don't believe we need two full-time incomes to live where we do (midwestern US) in a comfortable manner. We also quickly found that we don't really like the life we lead with two full-time jobs. It forced us to pay too much for services we didn't have time to do ourselves, we were always too stressed, too tired, etc.
So the plan became that we would try to live on one income for 16 months and save the rest. This rest would go into high-yield savings and would enable a period where I could explore new career options without the job hanging over my head (my job really takes all my brain power). It is now 18 months and I have submitted my resignation and will be leaving the job shortly.
During this time we have averaged savings that almost equal my take-home (short by about $2k/year), and amassed over $100k. We also still contributed to our IRAs and found other ways to reduce our expenses along the way. This is more than enough to keep us comfortable with one income for a while, and to also pay for a number of things including major house repairs, paying off a big chunk of the mortgage, etc. We don't have any other debts beside the house.
So, big life change: here we come. I'm not sure where it will take me but I know I won't have to worry about funds for a while as I figure it out.