We live in Florida and for us an A/C is a must. We have a heat pump for winter, all electric for summer and our power bill goes up about $70-100/month starting in June through Sept/Oct. We have either ceiling fans or portable fans in all living areas, and that makes a huge difference. We can keep the thermostat about 2-3 degrees warmer in the summer keeping the fans on.
We also recently installed a new thermostat that is mobile compatible, so we can change the temp setting away from home. That way we can raise the setting when we leave, but also lower it before we get back to the house so it's cooler when we get there. As a bonus, when signing up for the warranty registration, the manufacturer sends me a monthly email showing my daily hours running and not running, at what temperature in degrees, any changes made to that setting during any day of the month, and does a side by side comparison with the previous month. Not sure if that helps save money, but I like it!
Our A/C is designed to remove a lot of humidity inside the house and we watch that level on indoor thermometers with humidity settings and stay between 39-43% which is very effective. That said, I recently stayed in an AirBnB with a separate humidifier and the thermostat never left 78 degrees and I night I was chilly! So either the thermostat was off or the humidifier did a stellar job of keeping the air temps feeling cooler.