I'm a second year neuroscience undergrad taking a credit overload this semester. The workload is immense, but somehow I'm still finding time to go to my job and earn all the money I subsequently throw wildly in the direction of various craft and hardware stores.
I live in an apartment with my also cosplay-loving fiance, which makes it a lot easier to get work in without bothering anybody. We watch a lot of TV sitting on the floor on opposite sides of the living room, both working on parts of our costumes. We also do a lot of spray-painting, sanding, carving, etc. out on the fire escape. Bits of our fire escape are gold, silver, blue, and covered in sawdust.
To save money, we tend to do a lot of recon. We'll visit a few stores, judge the price of the stuff we need. Luckily, we have a year-round Halloween store here, which is a lot of help for simple and modifiable props, as well as wigs and makeup.
These days, I can only ever make it to NYCC, but my fiance's family just recently moved to the Washington DC area, so Washington/Baltimore area cons might be on the table in the future. One day, someday, I will make it to SDCC. =D My interest is almost exclusively in comics, though I do have a few anime cosplay goals.