I think this is a rather basic question, but it has been a rabbit hole for the last couple hours and I still haven't found an obvious answer.
I'm trying to perform a statistical analysis for an ordinal independent variable (educational attainment with four levels) and a quantitative/ratio dependent variable (monthly spending on electricity). The sample size is large so I assume each ordinal level is normally distributed, though not necessary normally distributed across the four levels as a whole -- I'm not sure if this matters.
It seems I could do 6 separate t-tests to test the difference in means between all 6 pairings of ordinal levels, or a one way ANOVA test to test the strength of difference between at least two groups. Ideally, I want to be able to test the relationship across all ordinal levels, i.e. if higher educational attainment shows a measurable increase in monthly electricity spending, but I can't figure out if there's a statistical test appropriate for that given the nature of the variables. Any advice is greatly appreciated.