I've never been to any cons so... lack of money doesn't help and really, an hour away isn't that bad. Where I live, anything good is over an hour away. The nearest con would be, well, 14+ hours away by driving?
An hour? That's not too bad. I'm going to some cons this coming year that're a few hours away by plane. Hell, I live in the U district and have attended cons down by the airport and in Bellvue without having a room now and then, though really I'd rather not do that if I can help it - spending an hour or two on the bus for a con kinda sucks, especially when you have to bail at like 10:30 before the light rail quits running.
You can get the cost down a lot if you share a room with other people. I dunno what rates Sakura gets at its associated hotels, but I usually end up spending $128 for four nights at a con hotel when sharing it with other people. (I deal at cons, I like to not leave until the next day so I have time to break down and pack up leisurely, and hit the Dead Dog party.)
You could probably find some people to share a room with by posting on the con's forums. They don't have a specific roomshare hookup area but you should be able to find something! Or alternatively maybe hook up with your local anime-loving friends to split a room. Maybe even drive to the con together, you can split the gas. If you have a buddy who lives in downtown Seattle maybe you could see if you could crash there for the weekend. Or even hook up with them and do the con together, cons are always more fun with friends.
Admittedly you'll also probably want to have some money in your pocket for hitting Sakura's colossal dealer's room.
If you registered right now then it'd be $55. Plus a share of a room, let's estimate a total of like $190-220. Plus whatever transit is. Is that a lot for you? Then maybe you want to start saving a few bucks here and there. Stash like $20 away somewhere every month, and you can do Sakura 2014. For a little less, if you preregister soon after this year's con!