(Wall Street Journal) — When Felipe Matos enrolled in the New York Institute of Technology to study graphic design, he never thought that degree would be the very thing that prevented him from pursuing his dream career. But more than $50,000 in student debt later, he has found himself working as an assistant building manager in New York City — with half his salary going toward debt repayment. “In order to get into my field, I’d have to intern,” says Mr. Matos, adding that his dream job would be at Pixar, the cutting-edge animation studio. But in order to avoid defaulting on his loans, he has had to defer his dreams. “I often get depressed because I always wanted to make cartoons and 3D animations for a living but can’t,” he says. His debt load also is affecting his life plans beyond his career: “I have a very loving and serious girlfriend, but I’m afraid we can’t have kids or get married until we are in our late 30s.” Managing your finances isn’t just about compound interest or credit cards, individual retirement plans or 401(k) plans. It’s really about the kind of life you want to have. There are tons of guides for what you should do with your money, but few draw the deeply rooted connection between how you manage money and how you manage your dreams.