Dear Abby: Concerned in the Caf

“Dear Abby” is an advice column written by Abby Stiefel. If you have any Stern-related questions for Abby (funny ones are encouraged), please direct them to

Dear Abby,

It is my first year on Beren Campus and I have SO much money on my caf card. I know that the money I have left from first semester rolls over to second semester, but after that, the money does not roll over to next year. I do not want the money to go to waste! What do you think I should do?


Concerned in the Caf


Dear Concerned in the Caf,

Thank you for reaching out, and great question! You are not alone. Many people have extra money on their caf cards and end up not using it, so good for you for planning ahead! Okay first, a good strategy is to try to finish your caf money or at least use most of it by the end of first semester. Your caf card is going to be refilled before second semester in addition to the remaining money, as you mentioned. Additionally, make you sure you are not holding back on buying food for yourself because there is no need! (Warning: this is something many of us are not used to, plus dangerous when it comes to junk food!) Also, you probably have many friends who will run out of caf money, so definitely treat them to a lovely meal/s and they will be forever grateful! This includes hungry roommates who are very appreciative of a snack or extra food. Another tip: when Chanukah comes around, you can buy your friends and family their favorite snacks that are available in the caf! It is a win-win because you make others happy and you use the money in a fulfilling way! (Even if you get snacks for your parents which is basically using the caf money they gave you to buy chocolate bars for them…)! Another tip is that if you go away for Shabbos or the weekend, on Friday mornings if you get to the 245 caf early you can buy your host a gift or buy snacks for yourself to have over the weekend! (It’s not fun to have the munchies and no snack outlet.) You can also buy specific foods to donate to food banks, a person in need, or the homeless, any of which is a great Chessed. I wish you the best of luck in your caf endeavors and know that I give you much support.



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