Cheapest Student on Campus Competes for $20,000

Published: November 09, 2012 | Category: Academics

SUU student Nicholas Wilding has been called many things, cheapskate, miser and penny pincher among them, but never before has his cheapster title served him better. As one of 13 finalists in the Ultimate Cheapster Collegiate Competition, Wilding is now up for a $20,000 prize, half of which will go to the campus that’s put up with his miserly ways over the past few years.

Wilding was recently chosen by Zion’s Bank as one of the 13 finalists from colleges in Idaho and Utah in their second season of the online reality series, Ultimate Cheapster. Now in the third and final round, this stasher is up for no small prize, though he needs your vote.

As a college student, Wilding does everything he can to stretch a dollar. “I try to go to every university activity where I know food will be served or go on dates where no money has to be spent,” said Wilding, a senior studying math. “And I longboard almost everywhere so I don’t have to use my car.”

Chosen from a group of more than 1,000 applications, Wilding attributes his dollar-stretching ways to the first time he mowed a lawn.

“It took so much effort to mow that lawn and I knew when I was given that money I didn’t want to just spend it all it at once, I had to make it last,” said Wilding, originally from Kaysville, Utah. “Call it being frugal or just plain cheap, but I want to make my hard earned cash last as long as possible.”

After submitting an essay to Zion’s Bank about his frugality and then competing in Salt Lake City in a coupon clipping contest, Wilding’s self-created webisode is now pitted against those of the other 12 cheapster finalists, all open to fan voting at

When asked what he would do with his share of the money, Wilding predictably plans to sash it away. “It will all go in my savings, of course.”

True to the frugality that has carried him this far, Wilding adds, “but I hope that SUU will use its half of the winnings to put on an event where there is lots of free food.”  

Voting for Zion’s Bank’s Ultimate Cheapster ends Monday, November 12. Votes can be submitted online daily, and the video with the most votes will win the $10,000 for themselves and another $10,000 for their school.

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