I would rather just go all in on my first hand, lose, and make the same as i do if i spend 2 hours and get beat right before the money.
Thats exactly why you need to take some risks EARLY in a tournament. If you get knocked out, theres always another one open for registration.
Dont worry to get busted that much. Just look for opportunities to accumulate chips as fast as possible.. The rising blinds are always there to worry about, so go for it!
On the "bubble" (right before the paid places) there are different strategys that can be very useful. (maybe try to search the forum for "bubble")
You need to find the people who are in the exact same situation you always get busted. In a SCARED one. Look who wants to fold his way to the money and attack their blinds and so on..