In my company, we usually get a salary raise every year, at least there are negotiations about it. Depending on the outcome, you get the raise, a raise or neither of them.
Last years raise was 300€ gross, which was around 9% of my monthly salary. In the end, I got "only" 143€ net on my bank account. Please, do not understand it wrongly, I really appreciate my raise, but I got a little less than half of my raise in my hand palm. I assume, that the raise this year, will be somehow similar, hence 7%-9% raise.
So I was thinking, if there is a better way, to get a financial donation from my employer. Personally, I'd planned to attend a few educational courses since a few years. They last about one week, so I need to use my holidays for them and I have to pay for them on my own. The courses are somehow related to my work although I think, I can't use the things I will learn their in my current job. I'm in a very technical position right now, but the courses are releated to creative techniques and meeting moderation. You may ask, why I want to attend those courses? I think, with the certification I'll (hopefully) get, I can somehow support other teams of my company in finding solutions in a creative (more fun) way and even, mabye, start a self employment as an external consultant to other companies.
My idea is now like this: 300€ gross salary raise is about 4.200€ more next year. This buget is enough for the courses and the company will pay gross for net (here in Austria we say "brutto für netto", if that may helps). So it is a tax saving strategy for the company and I would not have to pay for the courses.
Does anybody of you have experience with such strategies? Or wouldn't you recommend it, due to the missing salary raise?