“I dont want to live at home anymore.”

This question was submitted to Kids Help Phone by a young person and answered by one of our professional counsellors.

Question

heres the thing….i lived in a little small town from when i was born till last year….my life was in that town and then just all of a sudden we up and move…farther away then i ever thought to another small little town…..im 16 and will be 17 in october….but i was wondering….i dont want to live at home anymore and me and a friend want to get an appartment together…..can i do this without my parents permission? and if they dont want me to move out can i just leave?

Answer

You must feel really displaced if you lived in the same town your whole life! It is great that you realize you have options and you are looking at what they are. Each province has their own legislation when it comes to the legal age that a person can leave home without parental consent. In Ontario, a person who is 16 can leave their home without their parent’s permission. That being said, your parents are no longer financially responsible for you once you decide to leave, and you are on your own when it comes to getting all of your basic needs met. Sometimes a person is eligible for some financial assistance from the government (student welfare) but you need to be in school fulltime and the amount is very minimal per month. It is important to take all of this into consideration, because although the idea of moving out on your own is appealing, there are many things to consider from a financial perspective. Have you considered the cost of renting a place even sharing the rent? The cost moving and setting up a place, The monthly costs of food, clothing, transportation, laundry, personal care items and fun money. If you sit down and add it all up, you may find that it’s going to be really tough financially. Of course there the perks, freedom, independence…it’s really cool but how much fun can a preson have when the financial worries drown all your energy. Have you considered what could happen if you move in with your friend and things don’t work out? What then? Some people choose to leave school and work fulltime in order to support themselves, but finishing school is important too for different reasons, a big reason is being able to get a job that pays enough so you can enjoy life. My suggestion is for you to do a cost/ benefit analysis of what it would mean for you to move out with your friend to see if it is worth it for you right now. You may want to think about some other options like staying with a relative temporarily to reduce your cost of living, or you may want to make a plan for when you are finished school. Maybe there is a way for you to cope with where you are living if you know it is just for a short period of time. Or maybe you can use your summers to go elsewhere and visit old friends or relatives. Even this short period of time away might be enough to make you feel better about where you are. If you have any other questions you can write us again or call us at 1-800-668-6868. Good luck with everything!